Non-vesicular sterol transport in cells

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Sterols such as cholesterol are important components of cellular membranes. They are not uniformly distributed among organelles and maintaining the proper distribution of sterols is critical for many cellular functions. Both vesicular and non-vesicular pathways move sterols between membranes and into and out of cells. There is growing evidence that a number of non-vesicular transport pathways operate in cells and, in the past few years, a number of proteins have been proposed to facilitate this transfer. Some are soluble sterol transfer proteins that may move sterol between membranes. Others are integral membranes proteins that mediate sterol efflux, uptake from cells, and perhaps intracellular sterol transfer as well. In most cases, the mechanisms and regulation of these proteins remains poorly understood. This review summarizes our current knowledge of these proteins and how they could contribute to intracellular sterol trafficking and distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-314
Number of pages18
JournalProgress in Lipid Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholestrol
  • Lipid transport proteins
  • Membranes
  • Non-vesicular
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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