Scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) is the high-affinity high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor, and CLA-1 is the human homologue of the murine SR-BI. CLA-1/SR-BI receptor has been suggested as a new preventative and/or therapeutic target for atherosclerosis due to its pivotal role in overall HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) metabolism and its antiatherogenic activity in vivo. To search for active compounds that can increase CLA-1 transcription, a novel cell-based assay was developed for application in high-throughput screening (HTS). Human hepatoma HepG2 cells were transfected with a CLA-1-promoter-luciferase reporter gene construct, and the stable transfected cell line was selected and named CLAp-LUC HepG2. With rosiglitazone as a positive control, this stable cell line was used to establish a specific CLA-1 gene expression assay in a 96-well microplate format. The evaluating parameter Z' value of 0.64 showed that this cell-based HTS assay was robust and reliable. Screening of 6000 microbial secondary metabolite crude extracts identified 8 positive strains. Between 2 identified CLA-1 up-regulators produced by actinomycete strain 04-4776, 4776B may stimulate not only the expression of CLA-1 on the transcriptional and translational levels but also the activity of CLA-1 to uptake the HDL-C in HepG2 cells. The active compounds originated from this HTS assay may be developed to drug candidates or lead compounds for new antiatherosclerosis agents.