ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter A Subfamily 8 Is a Sinusoidal Efflux Transporter for Cholesterol and Taurocholate in Mouse and Human Liver

Kazunari Sasaki, Masanori Tachikawa, Yasuo Uchida, Satoshi Hirano, Fumito Kadowaki, Michitoshi Watanabe, Sumio Ohtsuki, Tetsuya Terasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter A subfamily 8 (ABCA8) belongs to the ABCA6-like transporters subgroup, which is distinct from the ABCA1-like subgroup in the ABCA family. The expression and function of the short-size human ABCA8 lacking one of the two ATP-binding domains for ATP hydrolysis, which are regularly present in the other ABCA transporters, have been reported. However, the functional differences between the short-size human ABCA8 and full-size human ABCA8, which has the two ATP-binding domains, remain unknown. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the tissue expression profiles of ABCA6-like and ABCA1-like subgroup transporters and the functional characteristics of ABCA8 in mouse and human. The tissue distribution of mouse ABCA (mABCA) transporter protein and the changes in mABCA8 protein expression levels in a mouse model of obstructive cholestasis were elucidated by means of quantitative targeted absolute proteomics (QTAP). The transport characteristics were clarified in a HEK293 cell line overexpressing full-size ABCA8 protein. QTAP and immunohistochemical analyses revealed that mABCA transporters exhibited the distinct protein expression patterns in the tissues, and mABCA8b, its mouse orthologue, was abundant in the liver and predominantly distributed in sinusoidal membranes of the hepatocytes. Further, protein expression of mABCA8b was decreased in the mouse cholestasis liver. Changes of mABCA8b expression level in cholestasis were similar to those of mABCA1, a sinusoidal cholesterol efflux transporter. Uptake and efflux assays showed that ABCA8 mediates efflux of [ 3 H]cholesterol and [ 3 H]taurocholate, while it showed no significant efflux activity for [ 3 H]estrone sulfate, [ 3 H]digoxin, [ 3 H]vinblastine, [ 3 H]para-aminohippuric acid, [ 3 H]oleic acid, [ 14 C]nicotine, or [ 3 H]methotrexate. [ 3 H]Cholesterol efflux was increased by extracellularly applied taurocholate. These results suggest that mABCA8b/ABCA8 functions as a sinusoidal efflux transporter for at least cholesterol and taurocholate in mouse and human liver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-355
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular pharmaceutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 5


  • ABCA1-like subgroup transporters
  • ABCA6-like subgroup transporters
  • ABCA8
  • absolute protein expression level
  • bile duct ligation
  • cholestasis
  • liver
  • mass spectrometry
  • quantitative targeted absolute proteomics
  • sinusoidal membrane
  • tissue distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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