Small GTPase ARF6 Regulates Endocytic Pathway Leading to Degradation of ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter A1

Nigora Mukhamedova, Anh Hoang, Huanhuan L. Cui, Irena Carmichael, Ying Fu, Michael Bukrinsky, Dmitri Sviridov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective - ABCA1 (ATP-binding cassette transporter A1) is the principal protein responsible for cellular cholesterol efflux. Abundance and functionality of ABCA1 is regulated both transcriptionally and post-translationally, with endocytosis of ABCA1 being an important element of post-translational regulation. Functional ABCA1 resides on the plasma membrane but can be internalized and either degraded or recycled back to the plasma membrane. The interaction between the degradative and recycling pathways determines the abundance of ABCA1 and may contribute to the efflux of intracellular cholesterol. Approach and Results - Here, we show that the principal pathway responsible for the internalization of ABCA1 leading to its degradation in macrophages is ARF6-dependent endocytic pathway. This pathway was predominant in the regulation of ABCA1 abundance and efflux of plasma membrane cholesterol. Conversely, the efflux of intracellular cholesterol was predominantly controlled by ARF6-independent pathways, and inhibition of ARF6 shifted ABCA1 into recycling endosomes enhancing efflux of intracellular cholesterol. Conclusions - We conclude that ARF6-dependent pathway is the predominant route responsible for the ABCA1 internalization and degradation, whereas ARF6-independent endocytic pathways may contribute to ABCA1 recycling and efflux of intracellular cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2292-2303
Number of pages12
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • cholesterol
  • clathrin
  • endocytosis
  • endosomes
  • macrophages

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