|External IDs||Template:OMIM5 Template:MGI HomoloGene: 68042|
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. 
Synonyms and keywords: LCAT; phosphatidylcholine-sterol O-acyltransferase
Lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase is an enzyme that catalyzes the esterification of free cholesterol.
Lecithin + Cholesterol → Lysolecithin + Cholesteryl ester
In 1935, Sperry first recognized the esterification of free cholesterol occurred when human plasma was incubated at 37°C and considered it as an enzymatic process since the effect was abolished when the plasma was heated to 55-60°C. In 1962, Glomset identified the enzyme lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) that accounts for esterification of most of the free cholesterol in plasma.
Lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase catalyzes the esterification of the free cholesterol into chlesteryl ester by transferring an acyl chain from the R2 position of a phosphatidylcholine to the 3′-hydroxy residue of cholesterol. Cholesteryl ester is then sequestered into the core of a lipoprotein particle eventually making the newly synthesized HDL spherical and forcing the reaction to become unidirectional since the particles are removed from the surface. Its role in extracellular cholesterol metabolism may facilitate the uptake of cholesterol from peripheral tissues into HDL particles by maintaining a concentration gradient for the efflux of free cholesterol which is centrol to reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). The enzyme is bound to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the plasma.
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- Lecithin+Cholesterol+Acyltransferase at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)