Lipoprotein receptor signalling in atherosclerosis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The founding member of the lipoprotein receptor family, low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) plays a major role in the atherogenesis through the receptor-mediated endocytosis of LDL particles and regulation of cholesterol homeostasis. Since the discovery of the LDLR, many other structurally and functionally related receptors have been identified, which include low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP)1, LRP5, LRP6, very low-density lipoprotein receptor, and apolipoprotein E receptor 2. The scavenger receptor family members, on the other hand, constitute a family of pattern recognition proteins that are structurally diverse and recognize a wide array of ligands, including oxidized LDL. Among these are cluster of differentiation 36, scavenger receptor class B type I and lectinlike oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1. In addition to the initially assigned role as a mediator of the uptake of macromolecules into the cell, a large number of studies in cultured cells and in in vivo animal models have revealed that these lipoprotein receptors participate in signal transduction to modulate cellular functions. This review highlights the signalling pathways by which these receptors influence the process of atherosclerosis development, focusing on their roles in the vascular cells, such as macrophages, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and platelets. Human genetics of the receptors is also discussed to further provide the relevance to cardiovascular disease risks in humans. Further knowledge of the vascular biology of the lipoprotein receptors and their ligands will potentially enhance our ability to harness the mechanism to develop novel prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1254-1274
Number of pages21
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Endothelium
  • LDL receptors
  • Lipoprotein
  • Macrophages
  • Platelets
  • Scavenger receptors
  • Vascular smooth muscle cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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