The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the superfamily of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. ABC proteins transport various molecules across extra- and intra-cellular membranes. ABC genes are divided into seven distinct subfamilies: ABC1, MDR/TAP, CFTR/MRP, ALD (adrenoleukodystrophy), OABP, GCN20, and White. This protein is a member of the ABC1 subfamily. Members of the ABC1 subfamily comprise the only major ABC subfamily found exclusively in multicellular eukaryotes. This full transporter has been detected predominantly in myelo-lymphatic tissues with the highest expression in peripheral leukocytes, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. The function of this protein is not yet known; however, the expression pattern suggests a role in lipidhomeostasis in cells of the immune system. Alternative splicing of this gene results in two transcript variants.
The Icelandic database of Decode Genetics has shown a doubled probability of developing Alzheimer's disease when inactive variants of the ABCA7 gene are present.
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