Niemann-Pick C1 Like 1 protein is critical for intestinal cholesterol absorption. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dietary cholesterol consumption and intestinal cholesterol absorption contribute to plasma cholesterol levels, a risk factor for coronary heart disease. The molecular mechanism of sterol uptake from the lumen of the small intestine is poorly defined. We show that Niemann-Pick C1 Like 1(NPC1L1) protein plays a critical role in the absorption of intestinal cholesterol. NPC1L1 expression is enriched in the small intestine and is in the brush border membrane of enterocytes. Although otherwise phenotypically normal, NPC1L1-deficient mice exhibit a substantial reduction in absorbed cholesterol, which is unaffected by dietary supplementation of bile acids. Ezetimibe, a drug that inhibits cholesterol absorption, had no effect in NPC1L1 knockout mice, suggesting that NPC1L1 resides in an ezetimibe-sensitive pathway responsible for intestinal cholesterol absorption.

published proceedings

  • Science

altmetric score

  • 12

author list (cited authors)

  • Altmann, S. W., Davis, H. R., Zhu, L., Yao, X., Hoos, L. M., Tetzloff, G., ... Graziano, M. P.

citation count

  • 1378

complete list of authors

  • Altmann, Scott W||Davis, Harry R||Zhu, Li-Ji||Yao, Xiaorui||Hoos, Lizbeth M||Tetzloff, Glen||Iyer, Sai Prasad N||Maguire, Maureen||Golovko, Andrei||Zeng, Ming||Wang, Luquan||Murgolo, Nicholas||Graziano, Michael P

publication date

  • February 2004