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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter May 4, 2012

Scavenger receptors: a key player in cardiovascular diseases

Mohammad Z. Ashraf and Anita Sahu
From the journal BioMolecular Concepts


The scavenger receptor (SR) super family consists of integral membrane glycoproteins that are involved in recognition of polyanionic structures of either endogenous (e.g., oxidized low-density lipoprotein) or exogenous (e.g., bacterial lipopolysaccharides) origin. SRs are structurally diverse and can be classified into seven different classes (A–G) based on the multidomain structure of the individual members. SRs are present on various types of tissues, such as vascular, adipose, and steroidogenic tissues. In addition to modified lipoprotein uptake, these proteins are also known to regulate apoptotic cell clearance, initiate signal transduction, and serve as pattern recognition receptors for pathogens. Different SRs are involved in many physiological and pathological processes; more importantly, the function of SRs is highly implicated in the initiation and progression of atherosclerotic plaque. Targeting the SR gene products that mediate the response to and uptake of modified lipids holds great promise in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Inhibition of SR expression using a combined gene therapy and RNA interference strategy also appears to be an option for long-term therapy. The present review focuses on the involvement of SRs in atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and other cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the role of SRs is not restricted to vascular lesions; it is also implicated in a number of different cellular functions.

Corresponding author

Received: 2012-2-7
Accepted: 2012-4-2
Published Online: 2012-05-04
Published in Print: 2012-08-01

©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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