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Front Biosci. 2001 Mar 1;6:D320-31.

Signposts in the assembly of chylomicrons.

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  • 1Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Pediatrics, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA. mahmoodhussain@netmail.hscbklyn.edu

Abstract

Intestinal cells synthesize and secrete chylomicrons in the postprandial state. Synthesis of these particles is defective in abetalipoproteinemia and chylomicron retention disease. Chylomicrons are very large, heterogeneous, lipid-rich particles ranging in diameters from 75 to 450 nm and function to transport dietary fat and fat-soluble vitamins to blood. The size heterogeneity of the secreted particles depends on the rate of fat absorption, type and amount of fat absorbed. The fatty acid composition of triglycerides present in chylomicrons reflects the composition of dietary fat, whereas the fatty acid composition of chylomicron phospholipids does not. The differences in the fatty acid compositions are also observed when lipids are labeled with glycerol. Thus, the differences are not due to differential incorporation of dietary fatty acids into different lipids but are mainly due to different pools of lipids used for chylomicron assembly. It has been suggested that preformed phospholipids and nascent triglycerides are preferentially used for intestinal lipoprotein assembly. Biosynthesis of chylomicrons requires apoB48. ApoB48 is translated from apoB mRNA that is post-transcriptionally edited in the intestinal cells to incorporate a stop codon. Nascent apoB48 may be cotranslationally lipidated and this process is critically dependent on the presence of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein. Two different models have been proposed for the assembly of chylomicrons. In the independent model, intestinal cells are hypothesized to synthesize VLDL and chylomicron by two independent pathways. The chylomicron assembly pathway is hypothesized to be sensitive to a surfactant, Pluronic L81, but that of VLDL assembly is not. In the sequential assembly model, synthesis of all lipoproteins is hypothesized to begin with the assembly of apoB-containing primordial lipoprotein particles. The primordial particles are suggested to fuse with triglyceride-rich lipid droplets that are synthesized independently of apoB. This process results in the core expansion of primordial particles and the synthesis of nascent lipoproteins. Differences in the size of secreted lipoproteins may be due to differences in the size of triglyceride-rich lipid droplets. Pluronic L81 is hypothesized to inhibit the formation of large triglyceride-rich droplets that serve as precursors for chylomicron assembly. In this review, we have discussed some signposts that might be unique to different steps in the assembly of chylomicrons. First, it is proposed that the association of preformed phospholipids with nascent apoB in the endoplasmic reticulum may serve as a signpost for the very early steps in the assembly of chylomicrons. Second, association of large amounts of newly synthesized triglycerides compared to preformed triglycerides may serve as a signpost for the assembly of larger lipoproteins. Third, the incorporation of retinyl esters may serve as markers for the final stages of chylomicron assembly. These signposts may be helpful in the identification and characterization of various intermediates in the assembly of chylomicrons. The knowledge about the molecular assembly of chylomicrons may lead to better therapeutic agents for controlling various hyperlipidemias, obesity, and atherosclerosis.

PMID:
11229873
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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