Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP)-related proteins (ORPs) are lipidbinding proteins that are conserved from yeast to humans. They are implicated in many cellular processes including signaling, vesicular trafficking, lipid metabolism, and nonvesicular sterol transport. All ORPs contain an OSBP-related domain (ORD) that has a hydrophobic pocket that binds a single sterol. ORDs also contain additional membranebinding surfaces, some of which bind phosphoinositides and may regulate sterol binding. Studies in yeast suggest that ORPs function as sterol transporters, perhaps in regions where organelle membranes are closely apposed. Yeast ORPs also participate in vesicular trafficking, although their role is unclear. In mammalian cells, some ORPs function as sterol sensors that regulate the assembly of protein complexes in response to changes in cholesterol levels. This review will summarize recent advances in our understanding of how ORPs bind lipids and membranes and how they function in diverse cellular processes. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology Volume 26 is October 06, 2010. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
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