Niemann-Pick disease, type C1; Intracellular cholesterol transporter which acts in concert with NPC2 and plays an important role in the egress of cholesterol from the endosomal/lysosomal compartment. Both NPC1 and NPC2 function as the cellular 'tag team duo' (TTD) to catalyze the mobilization of cholesterol within the multivesicular environment of the late endosome (LE) to effect egress through the limiting bilayer of the LE. NPC2 binds unesterified cholesterol that has been released from LDLs in the lumen of the late endosomes/lysosomes and transfers it to the cholesterol-binding pocket of the N-terminal domain of NPC1. Cholesterol binds to NPC1 with the hydroxyl group buried in the binding pocket and is exported from the limiting membrane of late endosomes/ lysosomes to the ER and plasma membrane by an unknown mechanism. Binds oxysterol with higher affinity than cholesterol. May play a role in vesicular trafficking in glia, a process that may be crucial for maintaining the structural and functional integrity of nerve terminals; Belongs to the patched family.
Synonyms: NPC1, NPC1p, hNPC1, B4DET3, K7EIH7 ...