Research Article

Regulation of Absorption and ABC1-Mediated Efflux of Cholesterol by RXR Heterodimers

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Science  01 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5484, pp. 1524-1529
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5484.1524

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Several nuclear hormone receptors involved in lipid metabolism form obligate heterodimers with retinoid X receptors (RXRs) and are activated by RXR agonists such as rexinoids. Animals treated with rexinoids exhibited marked changes in cholesterol balance, including inhibition of cholesterol absorption and repressed bile acid synthesis. Studies with receptor-selective agonists revealed that oxysterol receptors (LXRs) and the bile acid receptor (FXR) are the RXR heterodimeric partners that mediate these effects by regulating expression of the reverse cholesterol transporter, ABC1, and the rate-limiting enzyme of bile acid synthesis, CYP7A1, respectively. Thus, these RXR heterodimers serve as key regulators of cholesterol homeostasis by governing reverse cholesterol transport from peripheral tissues, bile acid synthesis in liver, and cholesterol absorption in intestine.

  • * Present address: Physiologie Comparée-Endocrinologie Moléculaire, UMR CNRS 6547-GEEM, Université Blaise Pascal, 63177 Aubière Cedex, France.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:{at}

  • Present address: X-Ceptor Therapeutics, 4757 Nexus Centre Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

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