Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is unique among the different apoproteins because of its many functions in the assembly, processing, and removal of plasma lipoproteins. Some of these functions require the presence of apoE inside the cell or in close association with its outer membrane. For example, the presence of apoE increases triglyceride content in newly formed very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), whereas the fast removal of chylomicrons requires the presence of a cellular pool of apoE ready to surface and bind to membrane proteoglycans and possibly to lipoprotein receptors such as the LDL receptor-related protein (LRP). Our recent discovery that VLDL-apoE internalized by hepatocytes is partially protected from lysosomal degradation and recycles through the Golgi apparatus suggests that the biologic cycle of apoE may not be concluded when the lipoprotein is taken up by the cell, and that recycling apoE may have a physiologic role in lipoprotein assembly, remnant removal, and cholesterol efflux.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine