The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP1) is a multifunctional cell surface receptor that belongs to the LDL receptor (LDLR) gene family and that is widely expressed in several tissues. LRP1 consists of an 85-kDa membrane-bound carboxyl fragment (β chain) and a non-covalently attached 515-kDa (α chain) amino-terminal fragment. Through its extracellular domain, LRP1 binds at least 40 different ligands ranging from lipoprotein and protease inhibitor complex to growth factors and extracellular matrix proteins. LRP-1 has also been shown to interact with scaffolding and signaling proteins via its intracellular domain in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and to function as a co-receptor partnering with other cell surface or integral membrane proteins. LRP-1 is thus implicated in two major physiological processes: endocytosis and regulation of signaling pathways, which are both involved in diverse biological roles including lipid metabolism, cell growth/differentiation processes, degradation of proteases, and tissue invasion. The embryonic lethal phenotype obtained after target disruption of the LRP-1 gene in the mouse highlights the biological importance of this receptor and revealed a critical, but yet undefined role in development. Tissue-specific gene deletion studies also reveal an important contribution of LRP1 in vascular remodeling, foam cell biology, the central nervous system, and in the molecular mechanisms of atherosclerosis.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.