This gene encodes the class A macrophage scavenger receptors, which include three different types (1, 2, 3) generated by alternative splicing of this gene. These receptors or isoforms are macrophage-specific trimeric integral membrane glycoproteins and have been implicated in many macrophage-associated physiological and pathological processes including atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and host defense. The isoforms type 1 and type 2 are functional receptors and are able to mediate the endocytosis of modified low density lipoproteins (LDLs). The isoform type 3 does not internalize modified LDL (acetyl-LDL) despite having the domain shown to mediate this function in the types 1 and 2 isoforms. It has an altered intracellular processing and is trapped within the endoplasmic reticulum, making it unable to perform endocytosis. The isoform type 3 can inhibit the function of isoforms type 1 and type 2 when co-expressed, indicating a dominant negative effect and suggesting a mechanism for regulation of scavenger receptor activity in macrophages.
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