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

Molecular structure of a novel cholesterol-responsive A subclass ABC transporter, ABCA9.

We recently identified a novel ABC A subclass transporter, ABCA6, in human macrophages. Here, we report the molecular cloning of an additional ABC A subfamily transporter from macrophages denoted ABCA9. The identified coding sequence is 4.9 kb in size and codes for a 1624 amino acid protein product. In accordance with the proposed nomenclature, the novel transporter was designated ABCA9. The putative full-length ABC transporter polypeptide consists of two transmembrane domains and two nucleotide binding folds and thus conforms to the group of full-size ABC transporters. We identified alternative ABCA9 mRNA variants in human macrophages that predict the existence of three truncated forms of the novel transporter. Among the human ABC A subfamily transporters, ABCA9 exhibits the highest amino acid sequence homology with ABCA8 (72%) and ABCA6 (60%), respectively. The striking amino acid sequence similarity between these transporter molecules supports the notion that they represent an evolutionary more recently emerged subgroup within the family of ABC A transporters, which we refer to as "ABCA6-like transporters." ABCA9 mRNA is ubiquitously expressed with the highest mRNA levels in heart, brain, and fetal tissues. Analysis of the genomic structure revealed that the ABCA9 gene consists of 39 exons that are located within a genomic region of approximately 85 kb size on chromosome 17q24. 2. In human macrophages, ABCA9 mRNA is induced during monocyte differentiation into macrophages and suppressed by cholesterol import indicating that ABCA9, like other known ABC A subfamily transporters, is a cholesterol-responsive gene. Based on this information, ABCA9 is likely involved in monocyte differentiation and macrophage lipid homeostasis.[1]


  1. Molecular structure of a novel cholesterol-responsive A subclass ABC transporter, ABCA9. Piehler, A., Kaminski, W.E., Wenzel, J.J., Langmann, T., Schmitz, G. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2002) [Pubmed]
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