SR-BI has also been identified in the livers of non-mammalian species (turtle, goldfish, shark, chicken, frog, and skate), suggesting it emerged early in vertebrate evolutionary history. The turtle also seems to upregulate SR-BI during egg development, indicating that cholesterol efflux may be at peak levels during developmental stages.
Although malignant tumors are known to display extreme heterogeneity, overexpression of SR-B1 is a relatively consistent marker in cancerous tissues. While SR-B1 normally mediates the transfer of cholesterol between high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and healthy cells, it also facilitates the selective uptake of cholesterol by malignant cells. In this way, upregulation of the SR-B1 receptor becomes an enabling factor for self-sufficient proliferation in cancerous tissue.
SR-B1 mediated delivery has also been used in the transfection of cancer cells with siRNA, or small interfering RNAs. This therapy causes RNA interference, in which short segments of double stranded RNA acts to silence targeted oncogenes post-transcription. SR-B1 mediation reduces siRNA degradation and off-target accumulation while enhancing delivery to targeted tissues. In "metastatic and taxane-resistant models of ovarian cancer, rHDL-mediated siren delivery improved responses.
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