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J Biol Chem. 1997 Jun 20;272(25):15777-81.

Disruption of the murine lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase gene causes impairment of adrenal lipid delivery and up-regulation of scavenger receptor class B type I.

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  • 1Human Genome Center, Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) is the major determinant of the cholesteryl ester (CE) content of high density lipoprotein (HDL) in plasma. The selective uptake of HDL-CE is postulated to participate in delivery of tissue-derived cholesterol both to the liver and steroidogenic tissues. Recent studies comparing mice with similarly low levels of HDL, due to the absence of either of the two major HDL-associated apolipoproteins apoA-I and apoA-II, suggest that apoA-I is crucial in modulating this process, possibly through interaction with scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI). Because of the central role of LCAT in determining the size, lipid composition, and plasma concentration of HDL, we have created LCAT-deficient mice by gene targeting to examine the effect of LCAT deficiency on HDL structure and composition and adrenal cholesterol delivery. The HDL in the LCAT-deficient mice was reduced in its plasma concentration (92%) and CE content (96%). The HDL particles were heterogeneous in size and morphology and included numerous discoidal particles, mimicking those observed in LCAT-deficient humans. The adrenals of the male Lcat (-/-) mice were severely depleted of lipid stores, which was associated with a 2-fold up-regulation of the adrenal SR-BI mRNA. These studies demonstrate that LCAT deficiency, similar to apoA-I deficiency, is associated with a marked decrease in adrenal cholesterol delivery and supports the hypothesis that adrenal SR-BI expression is regulated by the adrenal cholesterol.

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