Structure and physiologic function of the low-density lipoprotein receptor

Annu Rev Biochem. 2005;74:535-62. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biochem.74.082803.133354.


The low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) is responsible for uptake of cholesterol-carrying lipoprotein particles into cells. The receptor binds lipoprotein particles at the cell surface and releases them in the low-pH environment of the endosome. The focus of the current review is on biochemical and structural studies of the LDLR and its ligands, emphasizing how structural features of the receptor dictate the binding of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and beta-migrating forms of very low-density lipoprotein (beta-VLDL) particles, how the receptor releases bound ligands at low pH, and how the cytoplasmic tail of the LDLR interfaces with the endocytic machinery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endocytosis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II / genetics
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II / metabolism
  • LDL-Receptor Related Proteins / metabolism
  • Ligands
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, LDL / chemistry*
  • Receptors, LDL / genetics
  • Receptors, LDL / metabolism*
  • Repetitive Sequences, Amino Acid


  • LDL-Receptor Related Proteins
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, LDL