Familial hypercholesterolemia is caused by mutations in the LDL receptor gene (Ldlr). Elevated plasma LDL levels result from slower LDL catabolism and a paradoxical lipoprotein overproduction. We explored the relationship between the presence of the LDL receptor and lipoprotein secretion in hepatocytes from both wild-type and LDL receptor–deficient mice. Ldlr–/– hepatocytes secreted apoB100 at a 3.5-fold higher rate than did wild-type hepatocytes. ApoB mRNA abundance, initial apoB synthetic rate, and abundance of the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein 97-kDa subunit did not differ between wild-type and Ldlr–/– cells. Pulse-chase analysis and multicompartmental modeling revealed that in wild-type hepatocytes, approximately 55% of newly synthesized apoB100 was degraded. However, in Ldlr–/– cells, less than 20% of apoB was degraded. In wild-type hepatocytes, approximately equal amounts of LDL receptor–dependent apoB100 degradation occured via reuptake and presecretory mechanisms. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of the LDL receptor in Ldlr–/– cells resulted in degradation of approximately 90% of newly synthesized apoB100. These studies show that the LDL receptor alters the proportion of apoB that escapes co- or post-translational presecretory degradation and mediates the reuptake of newly secreted apoB-containing lipoprotein particles.


Jaap Twisk, Donald L. Gillian-Daniel, Angie Tebon, Lin Wang, P. Hugh R. Barrett, Alan D. Attie


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