LDL receptors on cell membrane, illustration

LDL receptors on cell membrane, illustration

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Credit: JUAN GAERTNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: LDL receptors on cell membrane, illustration. The binding of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) droplets (spherical lipid particles) to the LDL receptors (purple) results in the endocytosis of this biochemical molecule through the cell membrane into clathrin-coated vesicles (lower centre), which are then processed inside the cell. High blood levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol compared to HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol are thought to raise the risk of atherosclerosis, the build-up of fatty deposits on artery walls. This is a major cause of heart attacks and strokes.

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