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Intracellular cholesterol transporter which acts in concert with NPC2 and plays an important role in the egress of cholesterol from the endosomal/lysosomal compartment. Unesterified cholesterol that has been released from LDLs in the lumen of the late endosomes/lysosomes is transferred by NPC2 to the cholesterol-binding pocket in the N-terminal domain of NPC1. Cholesterol binds to NPC1 with the hydroxyl group buried in the binding pocket. 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 (Probable). Acts as an endosomal entry receptor for ebolavirus.
Subcellular location: Lysosome, Endosome