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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cholesterol metabolism, apolipoprotein E, adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporters, and Alzheimer's disease.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent evidence suggests that cholesterol metabolism participates in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Apolipoprotein E is the main lipid carrier in the brain and the best-established risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Intracellular cholesterol levels influence the generation of amyloid-beta peptides, the toxic species thought to be a primary cause of Alzheimer's disease. Finally, compounds that modulate cholesterol metabolism affect amyloid-beta generation. This review summarizes data linking apolipoprotein E and adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporters to aspects of cholesterol metabolism and Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. RECENT FINDINGS: In vivo, the lipidation status of apolipoprotein E affects amyloid-beta burden in mice with Alzheimer's disease, which appears to caused by the modulation of amyloid-beta deposition or clearance rather than amyloid-beta production. State-of-the-art in-vivo assays reveal that amyloid-beta is cleared from the brain by multiple pathways. Members of the adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette superfamily of transporters regulate lipid homeostasis and apolipoprotein metabolism in the brain, and may affect Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis by modulating apolipoprotein E lipidation as well as intracellular sterol homeostasis. SUMMARY: Proteins involved in brain cholesterol metabolism may affect the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Compounds that modulate the expression of these proteins may be of therapeutic benefit in Alzheimer's disease.[1]


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