Specificity of ABCA7-mediated cell lipid efflux

Antonino Picataggi, Amrith Rodrigues, Debra A. Cromley, Hu Wang, Joel P. Wiener, Viktor Garliyev, Jeffrey T. Billheimer, Brian C. Grabiner, Jessica A. Hurt, Allen C. Chen, Xianlin Han, Daniel J. Rader, Domenico Praticò, Nicholas N. Lyssenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter subfamily A member 7 (ABCA7) performs incompletely understood biochemical functions that affect pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. ABCA7 is most similar in primary structure to ABCA1, the protein that mediates cell lipid efflux and formation of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Lipid metabolic labeling/tracer efflux assays were employed to investigate lipid efflux in BHK-ABCA7(low expression), BHK-ABCA7(high expression) and BHK-ABCA1 cells. Shotgun lipid mass spectrometry was used to determine lipid composition of HDL synthesized by BHK-ABCA7 and BHK-ABCA1 cells. BHK-ABCA7(low) cells exhibited significant efflux only of choline-phospholipid and phosphatidylinositol. BHK-ABCA7(high) cells had significant cholesterol and choline-phospholipid efflux to apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, apo E, the 18A peptide, HDL, plasma and cerebrospinal fluid and significant efflux of sphingosine-lipid, serine-lipid (which is composed of phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine in BHK cells) and phosphatidylinositol to apo A-I. In efflux assays to apo A-I, after adjustment to choline-phospholipid, ABCA7-mediated efflux removed ~4 times more serine-lipid and phosphatidylinositol than ABCA1-mediated efflux, while ABCA1-mediated efflux removed ~3 times more cholesterol than ABCA7-mediated efflux. Shotgun lipidomic analysis revealed that ABCA7-HDL had ~20 mol% less phosphatidylcholine and 3–5 times more serine-lipid and phosphatidylinositol than ABCA1-HDL, while ABCA1-HDL contained only ~6 mol% (or ~1.1 times) more cholesterol than ABCA7-HDL. The discrepancy between the tracer efflux assays and shotgun lipidomics with respect to cholesterol may be explained by an underestimate of ABCA7-mediated cholesterol efflux in the former approach. Overall, these results suggest that ABCA7 lacks specificity for phosphatidylcholine and releases significantly but not dramatically less cholesterol in comparison with ABCA1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number159157
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • ABC transporters
  • Apolipoprotein
  • Cholesterol metabolism
  • HDL formation
  • Lipid efflux
  • Phospholipid metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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