ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are one of the largest groups of transporter families in humans. ABC transporters mediate the translocation of a diverse range of substrates across cellular membranes, including amino acids, nucleosides, lipids, sugars and xenobiotics. Neurodegenerative diseases are a group of brain diseases that detrimentally affect neurons and other brain cells and are usually associated with deposits of pathogenic proteins in the brain. Major neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ABC transporters are highly expressed in the brain and have been implicated in a number of pathological processes underlying neurodegenerative diseases. This review outlines the current understanding of the role of ABC transporters in neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on some of the most important pathways, and also suggests future directions for research in this field.

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