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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1989 Sep 25;1005(2):118-22.

Receptor-mediated binding and degradation of subfractions of human plasma low-density lipoprotein by cultured fibroblasts.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Tampere, Finland.


The receptor-mediated metabolism of human plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) subfractions was studied. LDL was isolated from healthy donors and further fractionated by density gradient ultracentrifugation into three subfractions: (I) d = 1.031-1.037, (II) d = 1.037-1.041 and (III) d = 1.041-1.047 g/ml, comprising 24 +/- 7%, 46 +/- 8% and 30 +/- 9% of the total LDL protein, respectively. As assessed by electron microscopy and gradient gel electrophoresis, the LDL particle size decreased and the relative protein content increased from fraction I towards fraction III. Fraction II had the highest (Kd 2.6 micrograms/ml) and fraction I the lowest (Kd 5.8 micrograms/ml) binding affinity to LDL receptors of human fibroblasts at 4 degrees C. The rate of receptor-mediated degradation of fraction II was also higher than that of the other two fractions at 37 degrees C. These results suggest that LDL subfractions have different rates of receptor-mediated catabolism depending on particle size or composition, and therefore their metabolic fate and atherogenic properties may also differ.

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