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DNA Cell Biol. 2004 Feb;23(2):111-7.

Human lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 functions as a dimer in living cells.

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National Food Research Institute, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan.


Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) is a unique scavenger receptor that plays important roles in atherogenesis and has been thought to function as a monomer. Using coimmunoprecipitation studies, we demonstrate that human LOX-1 (hLOX-1) forms constitutive homo-interactions in vivo. Western blot analysis of cell lysates under nonreducing or reducing conditions revealed one clear immunoreactive species corresponding to the size of a putative receptor dimer or a monomer, respectively, consistent with the presence of disulfide-linked hLOX-1 complexes. Site-directed mutagenesis studies indicated that cysteine 140 has a key role in the formation of these disulfide-linked hLOX-1 dimers. Eliminating this intermolecular disulfide bond markedly impairs the recognition of Escherichia coli by hLOX-1. Furthermore, these dimers can act as a "structural unit" to form noncovalently associated oligomers, as demonstrated by a membrane-impermeant crosslinker, which resulted in immunoreactive species corresponding to the sizes of putative tetramers and hexamers. These results provide the first evidence for the existence of hLOX-1 dimers/oligomers.

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