Acetyl podocarpic acid anhydride (APD) is a potent, semi-synthetic liver X receptor (LXR) agonist derived from extracts of the mayapple. APD forms a heterodimer with the retinoid X receptor (RXR), and together these compounds, acting through LXR, induce the expression of the ABCA1 reverse cholesterol transporter and inhibit the overall absorption of cholesterol (ED50 = 1 nM). In transient transactivation assays, acetyl podocarpic acid anhydride was found to be approximately 1,000 times more potent than 22(R)-hydroxy cholesterol. APD can be used as a positive control for the testing of LXR agonists.
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