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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 27;276(30):27855-63. Epub 2001 Apr 2.

The triple threat to nascent apolipoprotein B. Evidence for multiple, distinct degradative pathways.

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Laboratory of Lipoprotein Research, The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute and Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


We previously showed that Omega-3 fatty acids reduce secretion of apolipoprotein B (apoB) from cultured hepatocytes by stimulating post-translational degradation. In this report, we now characterize this process, particularly in regard to the two known processes that degrade newly synthesized apoB, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation and re-uptake from the cell surface. First, we found that Omega-3-induced degradation preferentially reduces the secretion of large, assembled apoB-lipoprotein particles, and apoB polypeptide length is not a determinant. Second, based on several experimental approaches, ER-associated degradation is not involved. Third, re-uptake, the only process known to destroy fully assembled nascent lipoproteins, was clearly active in primary hepatocytes, but Omega-3-induced degradation of apoB continued even when re-uptake was blocked. Cell fractionation showed that Omega-3 fatty acids induced a striking loss of apoB100 from the Golgi, while sparing apoB100 in the ER, indicating a post-ER process. To determine the signaling involved, we used wortmannin, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, which blocked most, if not all, of the Omega-3 fatty acid effect. Therefore, nascent apoB is subject to ER-associated degradation, re-uptake, and a third distinct degradative pathway that appears to target lipoproteins after considerable assembly and involves a post-ER compartment and PI3K signaling. Physiologic, pathophysiologic, and pharmacologic regulation of net apoB secretion may involve alterations in any of these three degradative steps.

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