Atherosclerosis is one major cause of cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death in industrialized
countries. Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is thought to be one primary pathway to protect against atherosclerosis.
The first and rate-limiting step of RCT is ATP-binding cassette transport A1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1-mediated cholesterol
efflux from the cells. Recently, caveolin-1 (CAV1), a scaffolding protein that organizes and concentrates certain caveolininteracting
signaling molecules and receptors within caveolae membranes, has been shown to regulate ABCA1 and
ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux probably via interacting with them. In the present review, we summarize the current
knowledge and views on the regulatory role of CAV1 on the cholesterol homeostasis with emphasis on the association
of CAV1 with ABCA1 and ABCG1. We conclude that the dominance of the positive regulation by CAV1 on the
ABCA1 and ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux is depending on the species, cell types, as well as the levels of
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, ATP binding cassette transporter, caveolin 1, reverse cholesterol transport.
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