Cyclosporine A and PSC833 inhibit ABCA1 function via direct binding

Kohjiro Nagao, Minami Maeda, Noralyn Manucat-Tan, Kazumitsu Ueda

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24 Citations (Scopus)


ATP-binding cassette protein A1 (ABCA1) plays a key role in generating high-density lipoprotein (HDL). However, the detailed mechanism of HDL formation remains unclear; in order to reveal it, chemicals that specifically block each step of HDL formation would be useful. Cyclosporine A inhibits ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux, but it is not clear whether this is mediated via inhibition of calcineurin. We analyzed the effects of cyclosporine A and related compounds on ABCA1 function in BHK/ABCA1 cells. Cyclosporine A, FK506, and pimecrolimus inhibited ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux in a concentration-dependent manner, with IC50 of 7.6, 13.6, and 7.0 μM, respectively. An mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin also inhibited ABCA1, with IC50 of 18.8 μM. The primary targets for these drugs were inhibited at much lower concentrations in BHK/ABCA1 cells, suggesting that they were not involved. Binding of [ 3H] cyclosporine A to purified ABCA1 could be clearly detected. Furthermore, a non-immunosuppressive cyclosporine, PSC833, inhibited ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux with IC50 of 1.9 μM, and efficiently competed with [3H] cyclosporine A binding to ABCA1. These results indicate that cyclosporine A and PSC833 inhibit ABCA1 via direct binding, and that the ABCA1 inhibitor PSC833 is an excellent candidate for further investigations of the detailed mechanisms underlying formation of HDL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-406
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • ABCA1
  • Cholesterol
  • Cyclosporine A
  • HDL
  • Inhibitor
  • PSC833


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