High-density lipoprotein (HDL) components remove cholesterol from cells by two independent mechanisms. Whereas HDL phospholipids pick up cholesterol that desorbs from the plasma membranes, HDL apolipoproteins appear to interact with cell-surface binding sites that target for removal pools of cellular cholesterol that feed into the cholesteryl ester cycle. Here we show that mild trypsin treatment of HDL almost completely abolishes this apolipoprotein-mediated cholesterol removal process. When HDL was treated with trypsin for various periods of time and then incubated with cholesterol-loaded fibroblasts, treatment for only 5 min reduced the ability of HDL to remove excess cholesterol from cellular pools that were accessible to esterification by the enzyme acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase. This mild treatment digested less than 20% of HDL apolipoproteins and did not alter the lipid composition, size distribution, or electrophoretic mobility of the particles. Trypsin treatment of HDL for up to 1 h caused no further reduction in its ability to remove cellular cholesterol despite a greater than 2-fold increase in apolipoprotein digestion. Trypsin treatment of HDL also reduced its ability to deplete the cholesteryl ester content of sterol-laden macrophages. Promotion of cholesterol efflux from the plasma membrane by HDL phospholipids was unaffected by even extensive proteolysis. In parallel to the loss of cholesterol transport-stimulating activity, trypsin treatment of HDL for only 5 min nearly abolished its interaction with high-affinity binding sites on cholesterol-loaded fibroblasts. Reconstitution of trypsin-modified HDL with isolated apo A-I or apo A-II restored the cholesterol transport-stimulating activity of the particles. Thus a minor trypsin-labile fraction of HDL apolipoproteins is almost exclusively responsible for the apolipoprotein-dependent component of cholesterol efflux mediated by HDL particles.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Lipids and Lipid Metabolism|
|State||Published - Jun 22 1997|
- Cell-surface binding site
- Cholesterol efflux
ASJC Scopus subject areas