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Lipids Health Dis. 2006 Aug 31;5:23.

Syndecan-1 mediates internalization of apoE-VLDL through a low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP)-independent, non-clathrin-mediated pathway.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of New Mexico, School of Medicine, MSC08 4670 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87131, USA.



Triacylglyerol-rich very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles are the primary carriers of fatty acids in the circulation and as such serve as a rich energy source for peripheral tissues. Receptor-mediated uptake of these particles is dependent upon prior association with apolipoprotein E (apoE-VLDL) and is brought about by cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) in some cell types and by the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) in others. Although LRP's role in apoE-VLDL uptake has been well studied, the identity of the HSPG family member that mediates apoE-VLDL uptake has not been established. We investigated if syndecan-1 (Syn-1), a transmembrane cell surface HSPG, is able to mediate the internalization of apoE-VLDL and examined the relationship between Syn-1 and LRP toward apoE-VLDL uptake. For this study, we used a human fibroblast cell line (GM00701) that expresses large amounts of LRP, but possesses no LDL receptor activity to eliminate its contributions toward apoE-VLDL uptake.


Although LRP in these cells is fully active as established by substantial alpha2macroglobulin binding and internalization, uptake of apoE-VLDL is absent. Expression of human Syn-1 cDNA restored apoE-VLDL binding and uptake by these cells. Competition for this uptake with an LRP ligand-binding antagonist had little or no effect, whereas co-incubation with heparin abolished apoE-VLDL internalization. Depleting Syn-1 expressing cells of K+, to block clathrin-mediated endocytosis, showed no inhibition of Syn-1 internalization of apoE-VLDL. By contrast, treatment of cells with nystatin to inhibit lipid raft function, prevented the uptake of apoE-VLDL by Syn-1.


These data demonstrate that Syn-1 is able to mediate apoE-VLDL uptake in human fibroblasts with little or no contribution from LRP and that the endocytic path taken by Syn-1 is clathrin-independent and relies upon lipid raft function. These data are consistent with previous studies demonstrating Syn-1 association with lipid raft domains.

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