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J Biol Chem. 2005 May 6;280(18):18336-40. Epub 2005 Feb 25.

Phospholipid transfer protein deficiency impairs apolipoprotein-B secretion from hepatocytes by stimulating a proteolytic pathway through a relative deficiency of vitamin E and an increase in intracellular oxidants.

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State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York 11203, USA.


Genetic deficiency of the plasma phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) in mice unexpectedly causes a substantial impairment in liver secretion of apolipoprotein-B (apoB), the major protein of atherogenic lipoproteins. To explore the mechanism, we examined the three known pathways for hepatic apoB secretory control, namely endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/proteasome-associated degradation (ERAD), post-ER pre-secretory proteolysis (PERPP), and receptor-mediated degradation, also known as re-uptake. First, we found that ERAD and cell surface re-uptake were not active in PLTP-null hepatocytes. Moreover, ER-to-Golgi blockade by brefeldin A, which enhances ERAD, equalized total apoB recovery from PLTP-null and wild-type cells, indicating that the relevant process occurs post-ER. Second, because PERPP can be stimulated by intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), we examined hepatic redox status. Although we found previously that PLTP-null mice exhibit elevated plasma concentrations of vitamin E, a lipid anti-oxidant, we now discovered that their livers contain significantly less vitamin E and significantly more lipid peroxides than do livers of wild-type mice. Third, to establish a causal connection, the addition of vitamin E or treatment with an inhibitor of intracellular iron-dependent peroxidation, desferrioxamine, abolished the elevation in cellular ROS as well as the defect in apoB secretion from PLTP-null hepatocytes. Overall, we conclude that PLTP deficiency decreases liver vitamin E content, increases hepatic oxidant tone, and substantially enhances ROS-dependent destruction of newly synthesized apoB via a post-ER process. These findings are likely to be broadly relevant to hepatic apoB secretory control in vivo.

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