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J Biol Chem. 2005 Jan 28;280(4):2954-61. Epub 2004 Nov 23.

Serum amyloid A is a ligand for scavenger receptor class B type I and inhibits high density lipoprotein binding and selective lipid uptake.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.


Serum amyloid A is an acute phase protein that is carried in the plasma largely as an apolipoprotein of high density lipoprotein (HDL). In this study we investigated whether SAA is a ligand for the HDL receptor, scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), and how SAA may influence SR-BI-mediated HDL binding and selective cholesteryl ester uptake. Studies using Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing SR-BI showed that (125)I-labeled SAA, both in lipid-free form and in reconstituted HDL particles, functions as a high affinity ligand for SR-BI. SAA also bound with high affinity to the hepatocyte cell line, HepG2. Alexa-labeled SAA was shown by fluorescence confocal microscopy to be internalized by cells in a SR-BI-dependent manner. To assess how SAA association with HDL influences HDL interaction with SR-BI, SAA-containing HDL was isolated from mice overexpressing SAA through adenoviral gene transfer. SAA presence on HDL had little effect on HDL binding to SR-BI but decreased (30-50%) selective cholesteryl ester uptake. Lipid-free SAA, unlike lipid-free apoA-I, was an effective inhibitor of both SR-BI-dependent binding and selective cholesteryl ester uptake of HDL. We have concluded that SR-BI plays a key role in SAA metabolism through its ability to interact with and internalize SAA and, further, that SAA influences HDL cholesterol metabolism through its inhibitory effects on SR-BI-mediated selective lipid uptake.

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