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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 Oct;79(10):868-75.

Hepatocyte [3H]-palmitate uptake: effect of albumin surface charge modification.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


The role of plasma proteins on the cellular uptake of lipophilic substrates has perplexed investigators for many years. We tested the hypothesis that an ionic interaction between the protein-ligand complex and hepatocyte surface may be responsible for supplying more ligand to the cell for uptake. The surface-charged groups on albumin were modified to yield proteins having a range of isoelectric points (ALB, ALBs, ALBm, ALBe had values of 4.8-5.0, 4.5-4.7, 3.0-3.5, 8.4-8.6, respectively). [3H]-Palmitate uptake studies were performed with adult rat hepatocyte suspensions using similar unbound ligand fractions in the presence of the different binding proteins. Mass spectrometry, isoelectric focusing (pI), and heptane:water partitioning were used to determine protein molecular weight, pI, and protein-palmitate equilibrium binding constant, respectively. Hepatocyte [3H]-palmitate clearance in the presence of ALBs and ALBm were significantly lower (p < 0.05) than ALB, whereas [3H]-palmitate clearance in the presence of ALBe was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than ALB. The data were consistent with the notion that ionic interactions between extracellular protein-ligand complexes and the hepatocyte surface facilitate the uptake of long-chain fatty acids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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