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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Oct 1;89(19):9252-6.

Rabbit very low density lipoprotein receptor: a low density lipoprotein receptor-like protein with distinct ligand specificity.

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  • 1Tohoku University Gene Research Center, Sendai, Japan.


A cDNA that expresses a receptor for very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) was isolated from a rabbit heart cDNA library and characterized. The deduced amino acid sequence of the cDNA revealed that the cDNA encodes a protein with striking homology to the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor. Like the LDL receptor, the mature protein consists of the following five domains spanning 846 amino acids: 328 N-terminal amino acids including an 8-fold repeat of 40 amino acids homologous to the ligand binding repeat of the LDL receptor; 396 amino acid residues homologous to the epidermal growth factor precursor including three cysteine-rich repeats; a region immediately outside of the plasma membrane rich in serines and threonines; 22 amino acids traversing the plasma membrane; and 54 amino acids including the NPVY sequence that is required for clustering of the LDL receptor in coated pits and that projects into the cytoplasm. LDL-receptor-deficient Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with the cDNA bound and internalized VLDL, beta-migrating VLDL, and intermediate density lipoprotein but did not bind LDL with high affinity. The 3.6- and 9.5-kilobase mRNAs for the VLDL receptor are highly abundant in heart, muscle, and adipose tissue. Barely detectable amounts of the mRNAs were present in liver. Based on the structural features, ligand specificity, and tissue expression of the mRNAs, we suggest that this VLDL receptor may mediate uptake of apolipoprotein E-containing lipoproteins enriched with triglyceride in nonhepatic tissues that are active in fatty acid metabolism.

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