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J Biol Chem. 2002 Feb 8;277(6):4301-8. Epub 2001 Nov 28.

Enzymatically active paraoxonase-1 is located at the external membrane of producing cells and released by a high affinity, saturable, desorption mechanism.

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Clinical Diabetes Unit, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, University Hospital, Geneva, 14, 1211 Switzerland.


Paraoxonase-1 (PON1) is a high density lipoprotein (HDL)-associated serum enzyme that protects low density lipoproteins from oxidative modifications. There is a relative lack of information on mechanisms implicated in PON1 release from cells. The present study focused on a model derived from stable transfection of CHO cells, to avoid co-secretion of apolipoprotein (apo) A-I and lipids, which could lead to formation of HDL-like complexes. Our results indicate that, in the absence of an appropriate acceptor, little PON1 is released. The results designate HDL as the predominant, physiological acceptor, whose efficiency is influenced by size and composition. Neither lipid-poor apoA-I or apoA-II nor low density lipoproteins could substitute for HDL. Protein-free phospholipid complexes promoted PON1 release. However, the presence of both apolipoprotein and phospholipid were necessary to promote release and stabilize the enzyme. Immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that PON1 was inserted into the external membrane of CHO cells, where it was enzymatically active. Accumulation of PON1 in the cell membrane was not influenced by the ability of the cell to co-secrete of apoA-I. Release appeared to involve desorption by HDL; human and reconstituted HDL promoted PON1 release in a saturable, high affinity manner (apparent affinity 1.59 +/- 0.3 microg of HDL protein/ml). Studies with PON1-transfected hepatocytes (HuH-7) revealed comparable structural features with the peptide located in a punctate pattern at the external membrane and enzymatically active. We hypothesize that release of PON1 involves a docking process whereby HDL transiently associate with the cell membrane and remove the peptide from the external membrane. The secretory process may be of importance for assuring the correct lipoprotein destination of PON1 and thus its functional efficiency.

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