Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 2008 Mar 15;180(6):4316-22.

C-reactive protein-bound enzymatically modified low-density lipoprotein does not transform macrophages into foam cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacology, James H. Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA.


The formation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-loaded macrophage foam cells contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. C-reactive protein (CRP) binds to atherogenic forms of LDL, but the role of CRP in foam cell formation is unclear. In this study, we first explored the binding site on CRP for enzymatically modified LDL (E-LDL), a model of atherogenic LDL to which CRP binds. As reported previously, phosphocholine (PCh) inhibited CRP-E-LDL interaction, indicating the involvement of the PCh-binding site of CRP in binding to E-LDL. However, the amino acids Phe66 and Glu81 in CRP that participate in CRP-PCh interaction were not required for CRP-E-LDL interaction. Surprisingly, blocking of the PCh-binding site with phosphoethanolamine (PEt) dramatically increased the binding of CRP to E-LDL. The PEt-mediated enhancement in the binding of CRP to E-LDL was selective for E-LDL because PEt inhibited the binding of CRP to another PCh-binding site-ligand pneumococcal C-polysaccharide. Next, we investigated foam cell formation by CRP-bound E-LDL. We found that, unlike free E-LDL, CRP-bound E-LDL was inactive because it did not transform macrophages into foam cells. The function of CRP in eliminating the activity of E-LDL to form foam cells was not impaired by the presence of PEt. Combined data lead us to two conclusions. First, PEt is a useful compound because it potentiates the binding of CRP to E-LDL and, therefore, increases the efficiency of CRP to prevent transformation of macrophages into E-LDL-loaded foam cells. Second, the function of CRP to prevent formation of foam cells may influence the process of atherogenesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk