Role of ABC transporters in lipid transport and human disease

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jul;24(7):342-50. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Feb 14.


Almost half of the 48 human ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins are thought to facilitate the ATP-dependent translocation of lipids or lipid-related compounds. Such substrates include cholesterol, plant sterols, bile acids, phospholipids, and sphingolipids. Mutations in a substantial number of the 48 human ABC transporters have been linked to human disease. Indeed the finding that 12 diseases have been associated with abnormal lipid transport and/or homeostasis demonstrates the importance of this family of transporters in cell physiology. This review highlights the role of ABC transporters in lipid transport and movement, in addition to discussing their roles in cellular homeostasis and inherited disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / metabolism
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism Disorders / genetics
  • Lipid Metabolism Disorders / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Mutation


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters