Co-expression of cholesteryl ester transfer protein and defective apolipoprotein E in transgenic mice alters plasma cholesterol distribution. Implications for the pathogenesis of type III hyperlipoproteinemia

S. Fazio, K. R. Marotti, Y. L. Lee, C. K. Castle, G. W. Melchior, S. C. Rall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Despite the definite etiologic link between apolipoprotein (apo) E mutations and type III hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP), it is not clear what additional factors are involved in the development of florid hyperlipidemia and how to explain the wide variability in the expression of the hyperlipidemic phenotype in carriers of receptor binding-defective apoE variants. The present study was designed to determine whether the overexpression of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), a plasma protein that transfers cholesteryl esters from the high density lipoproteins (HDL) to the very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) and whose activity is increased in hyperlipidemic states, plays a role in the development of hyperlipidemia and β-VLDL accumulation in type III HLP. We produced double-transgenic mice that co-expressed high levels of simian CETP and either high or low levels of a human receptor binding-defective apoE variant, apoE(Cys-142). We previously reported that apoE(Cys-142) high-expresser mice showed spontaneous hyperlipidemia and accumulation of β-VLDL, whereas the low-expresser mice showed only a modest increase in VLDL cholesterol. Co-expression of CETP induced a massive transfer of cholesteryl esters from the HDL to the VLDL in both lines of double-transgenic mice. As a result, HDL cholesterol and apoA- I levels were reduced to about 50% of normal, VLDL cholesterol increased 2.5- fold, and the cholesteryl ester content of VLDL reached values similar to those observed in human β-VLDL. The ratio of defective to normal apoE in VLDL was unaffected by CETP co-expression and was higher in animals expressing high apoE levels. Finally, in spite of an increased accumulation of β-VLDL in the high-expresser mice, the VLDL of the low-expresser mice maintained pre-β mobility upon co-expression of CETP. The results of this study demonstrate that the ratio of defective to normal apoE on the VLDL, rather than the cholesteryl ester content of VLDL, is the major factor determining the development of severe hyperlipidemia and the formation and accumulation of β-VLDL in type III HLP.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)32368-32372
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Volume269
    Issue number51
    StatePublished - Dec 1 1994

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology

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