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J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 8;280(14):13902-5. Epub 2005 Jan 27.

Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein promotes the secretion of Xenopus laevis vitellogenin A1.

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Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1040, USA.


Vitellogenins (Vtg) are ancient lipid transport and storage proteins and members of the large lipid transfer protein (LLTP) gene family, which includes insect apolipophorin II/I, apolipoprotein B (apoB), and the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP). Lipidation of Vtg occurs at its site of synthesis in vertebrate liver, insect fat body, and nematode intestine; however, the mechanism of Vtg lipid acquisition is unknown. To explore whether Vtg biogenesis requires the apoB cofactor and LLTP family member, MTP, Vtg was expressed in COS cells with and without coexpression of the 97-kDa subunit of human MTP. Expression of Vtg alone gave rise to a approximately 220-kDa apoprotein, which was predominantly confined to an intracellular location. Coexpression of Vtg with human MTP enhanced Vtg secretion by 5-fold, without dramatically affecting its intracellular stability. A comparison of wild type and a triglyceride transfer-defective form of MTP revealed that both were capable of promoting Vtg secretion, whereas only wild type MTP could promote the secretion of apoB41 (amino-terminal 41% of apoB). These studies demonstrate that the biogenesis of Vtg is MTP-dependent and that MTP is the likely ancestral member of the LLTP gene family.

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