The scavenger receptor, class B type 1 (SR-B1), is a multiligand membrane receptor protein that functions as a physiologically relevant high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor whose primary role is to mediate selective uptake or influx of HDL-derived cholesteryl esters into cells and tissues. SR-B1 also facilitates the efflux of cholesterol from peripheral tissues, including macrophages, back to liver. As a regulator of plasma membrane cholesterol content, SR-B1 promotes the uptake of lipid soluble vitamins as well as viral entry into host cells. These collective functions of SR-B1 ultimately affect programmed cell death, female fertility, platelet function, vasculature inflammation, and diet-induced atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction. SR-B1 has also been identified as a potential marker for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Finally, the SR-B1–linked selective HDL-cholesteryl ester uptake pathway is now being evaluated as a gateway for the delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents. In this review, we focus on the regulation and functional significance of SR-B1 in mediating cholesterol movement into and out of cells.


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