Translocation of Cholesterol

Cholesterol is translocated through the cytoplasm to the mitochondria via the cytoskeleton. Sterol carrier protein-2 is also thought to be involved in cholesterol transport. Once cholesterol reaches the mitochondria, it is actively transported into the inner mitochondrial membrane, where steroidogenesis begins. The transport of cholesterol into the inner mitochondrial membrane is the rate-limiting step in steroid biosynthesis, as it appears to be more tightly regulated than the subsequent steps in the process.[4]

Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), peripheral-type benzodiazepene receptor (PBR), and endozepine are involved in the movement of cholesterol into the mitochondria. At the cytoplasmic mitochondrial interface, cholesterol is bound by StAR, which actively transports it from the cytoplasm to the outer mitochondrial membrane. Peripheral-type benzodiazepene receptors located in the outer mitochondrial membrane are associated with the movement of cholesterol to the inner mitochondrial membrane, where the cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone. Endozepine, the ligand for PBR, facilitates the uptake of cholesterol into the inner mitochondrial membrane. The role of endozepine in this process is not understood, but it is thought to be associated with the ability of PBR to transport cholesterol and the exchange of cholesterol from StAR to PBR at the interface of the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes.[4]

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