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1.  The Two Variants of Oxysterol Binding Protein-related Protein-1 Display Different Tissue Expression Patterns, Have Different Intracellular Localization, and Are Functionally Distinct 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(3):903-915.
Oxysterol binding protein (OSBP) homologs comprise a family of 12 proteins in humans (Jaworski et al., 2001; Lehto et al., 2001). Two variants of OSBP-related protein (ORP) 1 have been identified: a short one that consists of the carboxy-terminal ligand binding domain only (ORP1S, 437 aa) and a longer N-terminally extended form (ORP1L, 950 aa) encompassing three ankyrin repeats and a pleckstrin homology domain (PHD). We now report that the two mRNAs show marked differences in tissue expression. ORP1S predominates in skeletal muscle and heart, whereas ORP1L is the most abundant form in brain and lung. On differentiation of primary human monocytes into macrophages, both ORP1S and ORP1L mRNAs were induced, the up-regulation of ORP1L being >100-fold. The intracellular localization of the two ORP1 variants was found to be different. Whereas ORP1S is largely cytosolic, the ORP1L variant localizes to late endosomes. A significant amount of ORP1S but only little ORP1L was found in the nucleus. The ORP1L ankyrin repeat region (aa 1–237) was found to localize to late endosomes such as the full-length protein. This localization was even more pronounced for a fragment that additionally includes the PHD (aa 1–408). The amino-terminal region of ORP1L consisting of the ankyrin repeat and PHDs is therefore likely to be responsible for the targeting of ORP1L to late endosomes. Interestingly, overexpression of ORP1L was found to enhance the LXRα-mediated transactivation of a reporter gene, whereas ORP1S failed to influence this process. The results suggest that the two forms of ORP1 are functionally distinct and that ORP1L is involved in control of cellular lipid metabolism.
PMCID: PMC151568  PMID: 12631712
2.  OSBP-Related Proteins (ORPs) in Human Adipose Depots and Cultured Adipocytes: Evidence for Impacts on the Adipocyte Phenotype 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45352.
Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) homologues, ORPs, are implicated in lipid homeostatic control, vesicle transport, and cell signaling. We analyzed here the quantity of ORP mRNAs in human subcutaneous (s.c.) and visceral adipose depots, as well as in the Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome (SGBS) adipocyte cell model. All of the ORP mRNAs were present in the s.c and visceral adipose tissues, and the two depots shared an almost identical ORP mRNA expression pattern. SGBS adipocytes displayed a similar pattern, suggesting that the adipose tissue ORP expression pattern mainly derives from adipocytes. During SGBS cell adipogenic differentiation, ORP2, ORP3, ORP4, ORP7, and ORP8 mRNAs were down-regulated, while ORP11 was induced. To assess the impacts of ORPs on adipocyte differentiation, ORP3 and ORP8, proteins down-regulated during adipogenesis, were overexpressed in differentiating SGBS adipocytes, while ORP11, a protein induced during adipogenesis, was silenced. ORP8 overexpression resulted in reduced expression of the aP2 mRNA, while down-regulation of adiponectin and aP2 was observed in ORP11 silenced cells. Furthermore, ORP8 overexpression or silencing of ORP11 markedly decreased cellular triglyceride storage. These data identify the patterns of ORP expression in human adipose depots and SGBS adipocytes, and provide the first evidence for a functional impact of ORPs on the adipocyte phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3448648  PMID: 23028956
3.  Characterization of the Sterol and Phosphatidylinositol 4-Phosphate Binding Properties of Golgi-Associated OSBP-Related Protein 9 (ORP9) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108368.
Oxysterol binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related proteins (ORPS) have a conserved lipid-binding fold that accommodates cholesterol, oxysterols and/or phospholipids. The diversity of OSBP/ORPs and their potential ligands has complicated the analysis of transfer and signalling properties of this mammalian gene family. In this study we explored the use of the fluorescent sterol cholestatrienol (CTL) to measure sterol binding by ORP9 and competition by other putative ligands. Relative to cholesterol, CTL and dehydroergosterol (DHE) were poor ligands for OSBP. In contrast, both long (ORP9L) and short (ORP9S) variants of ORP9 rapidly extracted CTL, and to a lesser extent DHE, from liposomes. ORP9L and ORP9S also extracted [32P]phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI-4P) from liposomes, which was inhibited by mutating two conserved histidine residues (HH488,489AA) at the entrance to the binding pocket but not by a mutation in the lid region that inhibited cholesterol binding. Results of direct binding and competition assays showed that phosphatidylserine was poorly extracted from liposomes by ORP9 compared to CTL and PI-4P. ORP9L and PI-4P did not co-localize in the trans-Golgi/TGN of HeLa cells, and siRNA silencing of ORP9L expression did not affect PI-4P distribution in the Golgi apparatus. However, transient overexpression of ORP9L or ORP9S in CHO cells, but not the corresponding PI-4P binding mutants, prevented immunostaining of Golgi-associated PI-4P. The apparent sequestration of Golgi PI-4P by ORP9S was identified as a possible mechanism for its growth inhibitory effects. These studies identify ORP9 as a dual sterol/PI-4P binding protein that could regulate PI-4P in the Golgi apparatus.
PMCID: PMC4177916  PMID: 25255026
4.  Oxysterol binding protein-related protein 8 mediates the cytotoxicity of 25-hydroxycholesterol[S] 
Journal of Lipid Research  2016;57(10):1845-1853.
Oxysterols are 27-carbon oxidized derivatives of cholesterol or by-products of cholesterol biosynthesis that can induce cell apoptosis in addition to a number of other bioactions. However, the mechanisms underlying this cytotoxicity are not completely understood. ORP8 is a member of the oxysterol binding protein-related protein (ORP) family, implicated in cellular lipid homeostasis, migration, and organization of the microtubule cytoskeleton. Here, we report that 25-hydroxycholesterol (OHC) induced apoptosis of the hepatoma cell lines, HepG2 and Huh7, via the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response pathway, and ORP8 overexpression resulted in a similar cell response as 25-OHC, indicating a putative functional relationship between oxysterol cytotoxicity and ORP8. Further experiments demonstrated that ORP8 overexpression significantly enhanced the 25-OHC effect on ER stress and apoptosis in HepG2 cells. A truncated ORP8 construct lacking the ligand-binding domain or a closely related protein, ORP5, was devoid of this activity, evidencing for specificity of the observed effects. Importantly, ORP8 knockdown markedly dampened such responses to 25-OHC. Taken together, the present study suggests that ORP8 may mediate the cytotoxicity of 25-OHC.
PMCID: PMC5036365  PMID: 27530118
cytotoxicity of oxysterols; endoplasmic reticulum stress; apoptosis
Cell reports  2015;10(4):600-615.
Itraconazole (ITZ) is a well-known antifungal agent that also has anti-cancer activity. In this study, we identified ITZ as a broad-spectrum inhibitor of enteroviruses (e.g. poliovirus, coxsackievirus, enterovirus-71, rhinovirus). We demonstrate that ITZ inhibits viral RNA replication by targeting oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related protein 4 (ORP4). Consistently, OSW-1, a specific OSBP/ORP4 antagonist, also inhibits enterovirus replication. Knockdown of OSBP inhibits virus replication whereas overexpression of OSBP or ORP4 counteracts the antiviral effects of ITZ and OSW-1. ITZ binds OSBP and inhibits its function, i.e. shuttling of cholesterol and phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate between membranes, thereby likely perturbing the virus-induced membrane alterations essential for viral replication organelle formation. ITZ also inhibits hepatitis C virus replication, which also relies on OSBP. Together, these data implicate OSBP/ORP4 as novel molecular targets of ITZ and point to an essential role of OSBP/ORP4-mediated lipid exchange in virus replication that can be targeted by antiviral drugs.
PMCID: PMC4383725  PMID: 25640182
6.  A role for oxysterol-binding protein–related protein 5 in endosomal cholesterol trafficking 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2011;192(1):121-135.
ORP5 works together with Niemann Pick C-1 to facilitate exit of cholesterol from endosomes and lysosomes.
Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and its related proteins (ORPs) constitute a large and evolutionarily conserved family of lipid-binding proteins that target organelle membranes to mediate sterol signaling and/or transport. Here we characterize ORP5, a tail-anchored ORP protein that localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum. Knocking down ORP5 causes cholesterol accumulation in late endosomes and lysosomes, which is reminiscent of the cholesterol trafficking defect in Niemann Pick C (NPC) fibroblasts. Cholesterol appears to accumulate in the limiting membranes of endosomal compartments in ORP5-depleted cells, whereas depletion of NPC1 or both ORP5 and NPC1 results in luminal accumulation of cholesterol. Moreover, trans-Golgi resident proteins mislocalize to endosomal compartments upon ORP5 depletion, which depends on a functional NPC1. Our results establish the first link between NPC1 and a cytoplasmic sterol carrier, and suggest that ORP5 may cooperate with NPC1 to mediate the exit of cholesterol from endosomes/lysosomes.
PMCID: PMC3019559  PMID: 21220512
7.  Oxysterol Binding Protein–related Protein 9 (ORP9) Is a Cholesterol Transfer Protein That Regulates Golgi Structure and Function 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2009;20(5):1388-1399.
Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related proteins (ORPs) constitute a large gene family that differentially localize to organellar membranes, reflecting a functional role in sterol signaling and/or transport. OSBP partitions between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus where it imparts sterol-dependent regulation of ceramide transport and sphingomyelin synthesis. ORP9L also is localized to the ER–Golgi, but its role in secretion and lipid transport is unknown. Here we demonstrate that ORP9L partitioning between the trans-Golgi/trans-Golgi network (TGN), and the ER is mediated by a phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI-4P)-specific PH domain and VAMP-associated protein (VAP), respectively. In vitro, both OSBP and ORP9L mediated PI-4P–dependent cholesterol transport between liposomes, suggesting their primary in vivo function is sterol transfer between the Golgi and ER. Depletion of ORP9L by RNAi caused Golgi fragmentation, inhibition of vesicular somatitus virus glycoprotein transport from the ER and accumulation of cholesterol in endosomes/lysosomes. Complete cessation of protein transport and cell growth inhibition was achieved by inducible overexpression of ORP9S, a dominant negative variant lacking the PH domain. We conclude that ORP9 maintains the integrity of the early secretory pathway by mediating transport of sterols between the ER and trans-Golgi/TGN.
PMCID: PMC2649274  PMID: 19129476
8.  Inhibition of HCV Replication by Oxysterol-Binding Protein-Related Protein 4 (ORP4) through Interaction with HCV NS5B and Alteration of Lipid Droplet Formation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75648.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA replication involves complex interactions among the 3’x RNA element within the HCV 3’ untranslated region, viral and host proteins. However, many of the host proteins remain unknown. In this study, we devised an RNA affinity chromatography /2D/MASS proteomics strategy and identified nine putative 3’ X-associated host proteins; among them is oxysterol-binding protein-related protein 4 (ORP4), a cytoplasmic receptor for oxysterols. We determined the relationship between ORP4 expression and HCV replication. A very low level of constitutive ORP4 expression was detected in hepatocytes. Ectopically expressed ORP4 was detected in the endoplasmic reticulum and inhibited luciferase reporter gene expression in HCV subgenomic replicon cells and HCV core expression in JFH-1-infected cells. Expression of ORP4S, an ORP4 variant that lacked the N-terminal pleckstrin-homology domain but contained the C-terminal oxysterol-binding domain also inhibited HCV replication, pointing to an important role of the oxysterol-binding domain in ORP4-mediated inhibition of HCV replication. ORP4 was found to associate with HCV NS5B and its expression led to inhibition of the NS5B activity. ORP4 expression had little effect on intracellular lipid synthesis and secretion, but it induced lipid droplet formation in the context of HCV replication. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ORP4 is a negative regulator of HCV replication, likely via interaction with HCV NS5B in the replication complex and regulation of intracellular lipid homeostasis. This work supports the important role of lipids and their metabolism in HCV replication and pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3775767  PMID: 24069433
9.  Overexpression of Insig-1 in the livers of transgenic mice inhibits SREBP processing and reduces insulin-stimulated lipogenesis 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;113(8):1168-1175.
In the current studies we generated transgenic mice that overexpress human Insig-1 in the liver under a constitutive promoter. In cultured cells Insig-1 and Insig-2 have been shown to block lipid synthesis in a cholesterol-dependent fashion by inhibiting proteolytic processing of sterol regulatory element–binding proteins (SREBPs), membrane-bound transcription factors that activate lipid synthesis. Insig’s exert this action in the ER by binding SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) and preventing it from escorting SREBPs to the Golgi apparatus where the SREBPs are processed to their active forms. In the livers of Insig-1 transgenic mice, the content of all nuclear SREBPs (nSREBPs) was reduced and declined further upon feeding of dietary cholesterol. The nuclear content of the insulin-induced SREBP isoform, SREBP-1c, failed to increase to a normal extent upon refeeding on a high-carbohydrate diet. The nSREBP deficiency produced a marked reduction in the levels of mRNAs encoding enzymes required for synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides. Plasma cholesterol levels were strongly reduced, and plasma triglycerides did not exhibit their normal rise after refeeding. These results provide in vivo support for the hypothesis that nSREBPs are essential for high levels of lipid synthesis in the liver and indicate that Insig’s modulate nSREBP levels by binding and retaining SCAP in the ER.
PMCID: PMC385408  PMID: 15085196
10.  The Oxysterol-binding Protein Homologue ORP1L Interacts with Rab7 and Alters Functional Properties of Late Endocytic Compartments 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2005;16(12):5480-5492.
ORP1L is a member of the human oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) family. ORP1L localizes to late endosomes (LEs)/lysosomes, colocalizing with the GTPases Rab7 and Rab9 and lysosome-associated membrane protein-1. We demonstrate that ORP1L interacts physically with Rab7, preferentially with its GTP-bound form, and provide evidence that ORP1L stabilizes GTP-bound Rab7 on LEs/lysosomes. The Rab7-binding determinant is mapped to the ankyrin repeat (ANK) region of ORP1L. The pleckstrin homology domain (PHD) of ORP1L binds phosphoinositides with low affinity and specificity. ORP1L ANK- and ANK+PHD fragments induce perinuclear clustering of LE/lysosomes. This is dependent on an intact microtubule network and a functional dynein/dynactin motor complex. The dominant inhibitory Rab7 mutant T22N reverses the LE clustering, suggesting that the effect is dependent on active Rab7. Transport of fluorescent dextran to LEs is inhibited by overexpression of ORP1L. Overexpression of ORP1L, and in particular the N-terminal fragments of ORP1L, inhibits vacuolation of LE caused by Helicobacter pylori toxin VacA, a process also involving Rab7. The present study demonstrates that ORP1L binds to Rab7, modifies its functional cycle, and can interfere with LE/lysosome organization and endocytic membrane trafficking. This is the first report of a direct connection between the OSBP-related protein family and the Rab GTPases.
PMCID: PMC1289395  PMID: 16176980
11.  Multivesicular Body Formation Requires OSBP–Related Proteins and Cholesterol 
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(8):e1001055.
In eukaryotes, different subcellular organelles have distinct cholesterol concentrations, which is thought to be critical for biological functions. Oxysterol-binding protein-related proteins (ORPs) have been assumed to mediate nonvesicular cholesterol trafficking in cells; however, their in vivo functions and therefore the biological significance of cholesterol in each organelle are not fully understood. Here, by generating deletion mutants of ORPs in Caenorhabditis elegans, we show that ORPs are required for the formation and function of multivesicular bodies (MVBs). In an RNAi enhancer screen using obr quadruple mutants (obr-1; -2; -3; -4), we found that MVB–related genes show strong genetic interactions with the obr genes. In obr quadruple mutants, late endosomes/lysosomes are enlarged and membrane protein degradation is retarded, although endocytosed soluble proteins are normally delivered to lysosomes and degraded. We also found that the cholesterol content of late endosomes/lysosomes is reduced in the mutants. In wild-type worms, cholesterol restriction induces the formation of enlarged late endosomes/lysosomes, as observed in obr quadruple mutants, and increases embryonic lethality upon knockdown of MVB–related genes. Finally, we show that knockdown of ORP1L, a mammalian ORP family member, induces the formation of enlarged MVBs in HeLa cells. Our in vivo findings suggest that the proper cholesterol level of late endosomes/lysosomes generated by ORPs is required for normal MVB formation and MVB–mediated membrane protein degradation.
Author Summary
The multivesicular body (MVB) sorting pathway provides a mechanism for the lysosomal degradation of membrane proteins, such as growth factor receptors. The formation of MVBs is unique in that the curvature is directed toward the lumen of the compartment rather than the cytosol. During MVB formation, the curvature-inducing proteins, such as clathrins, could not be involved in the inward invagination of the endosomal membrane. Under these circumstances, lipids have been assumed to play a role in the membrane invagination step by creating local membrane environments; however, the lipids involved in this step have not been fully elucidated. Here we demonstrate that cholesterol, an essential membrane component in animals, is critical for MVB formation and function. We found that disruption of OSBP–related proteins (ORPs), which have been proposed to function in cellular cholesterol distribution and metabolism, reduces the cholesterol content in late endosomes/lysosomes, leading to impaired MVB function. MVB sorting pathway is known to be involved in many processes, including growth factor receptor down-regulation, exosome secretion, antigen presentation, the budding of enveloped viruses, and cytokinesis. Our findings provide a novel link between cholesterol and these biologically important functions.
PMCID: PMC2916882  PMID: 20700434
12.  Characterization of the oxysterol-binding protein gene family in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti 
Insect molecular biology  2011;20(4):541-552.
The oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and related proteins (ORPs) are sterol-binding proteins that may be involved in cellular sterol transportation, sterol metabolism and signal transduction pathways. Four ORP genes were cloned from Aedes aegypti. Based on amino acid sequence homology to human proteins, they are AeOSBP, AeORP1, AeORP8 and AeORP9. Splicing variants of AeOSBP and AeORP8 were identified. The temporal and spatial transcription patterns of members of the AeOSBP gene family through developmental stages and the gonotrophic cycle were profiled. AeORP1 transcription seemed to be head tissue-specific, whereas AeOSBP and AeORP9 expressions were induced by a blood meal. Furthermore, over-expression of AeORPs facilitated [3H]-cholesterol uptake in Aedes aegypti cultured Aag-2 cells.
PMCID: PMC3139008  PMID: 21699592
Oxysterol-binding protein; cholesterol; gene expression; sterol transport
13.  The Diverse Functions of Oxysterol-Binding Proteins 
Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP)-related proteins (ORPs) are lipid-binding proteins that are conserved from yeast to humans. They are implicated in many cellular processes including signaling, vesicular trafficking, lipid metabolism, and nonvesicular sterol transport. All ORPs contain an OSBP-related domain (ORD) that has a hydrophobic pocket that binds a single sterol. ORDs also contain additional membrane binding surfaces, some of which bind phosphoinositides and may regulate sterol binding. Studies in yeast suggest that ORPs function as sterol transporters, perhaps in regions where organelle membranes are closely apposed. Yeast ORPs also participate in vesicular trafficking, although their role is unclear. In mammalian cells, some ORPs function as sterol sensors that regulate the assembly of protein complexes in response to changes in cholesterol levels. This review will summarize recent advances in our understanding of how ORPs bind lipids and membranes and how they function in diverse cellular processes.
PMCID: PMC3478074  PMID: 19575662
cholesterol; sterol; phosphoinositides; signaling; lipid transport; membranes; membrane contact sites; lipid transport proteins
14.  OSBPL10, a novel candidate gene for high triglyceride trait in dyslipidemic Finnish subjects, regulates cellular lipid metabolism 
Analysis of variants in three genes encoding oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) homologues (OSBPL2, OSBPL9, OSBPL10) in Finnish families with familial low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (N = 426) or familial combined hyperlipidemia (N = 684) revealed suggestive linkage of OSBPL10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with extreme end high triglyceride (TG; >90th percentile) trait. Prompted by this initial finding, we carried out association analysis in a metabolic syndrome subcohort (Genmets) of Health2000 examination survey (N = 2,138), revealing association of multiple OSBPL10 SNPs with high serum TG levels (>95th percentile). To investigate whether OSBPL10 could be the gene underlying the observed linkage and association, we carried out functional experiments in the human hepatoma cell line Huh7. Silencing of OSBPL10 increased the incorporation of [3H]acetate into cholesterol and both [3H]acetate and [3H]oleate into triglycerides and enhanced the accumulation of secreted apolipoprotein B100 in growth medium, suggesting that the encoded protein ORP10 suppresses hepatic lipogenesis and very-low-density lipoprotein production. ORP10 was shown to associate dynamically with microtubules, consistent with its involvement in intracellular transport or organelle positioning. The data introduces OSBPL10 as a gene whose variation may contribute to high triglyceride levels in dyslipidemic Finnish subjects and provides evidence for ORP10 as a regulator of cellular lipid metabolism.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00109-009-0490-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2707950  PMID: 19554302
Cholesterol; High-density lipoprotein; Microtubule; Oxysterol-binding protein; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; Triglyceride
15.  Orp8 Deficiency in Bone Marrow-Derived Cells Reduces Atherosclerotic Lesion Progression in LDL Receptor Knockout Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109024.
Oxysterol binding protein Related Proteins (ORPs) mediate intracellular lipid transport and homeostatic regulation. ORP8 downregulates ABCA1 expression in macrophages and cellular cholesterol efflux to apolipoprotein A-I. In line, ORP8 knockout mice display increased amounts of HDL cholesterol in blood. However, the role of macrophage ORP8 in atherosclerotic lesion development is unknown.
Methods and Results
LDL receptor knockout (KO) mice were transplanted with bone marrow (BM) from ORP8 KO mice and C57Bl/6 wild type mice. Subsequently, the animals were challenged with a high fat/high cholesterol Western-type diet to induce atherosclerosis. After 9 weeks of Western-Type diet feeding, serum levels of VLDL cholesterol were increased by 50% in ORP8 KO BM recipients compared to the wild-type recipients. However, no differences were observed in HDL cholesterol. Despite the increase in VLDL cholesterol, lesions in mice transplanted with ORP8 KO bone marrow were 20% smaller compared to WT transplanted controls. In addition, ORP8 KO transplanted mice displayed a modest increase in the percentage of macrophages in the lesion as compared to the wild-type transplanted group. ORP8 deficient macrophages displayed decreased production of pro-inflammatory factors IL-6 and TNFα, decreased expression of differentiation markers and showed a reduced capacity to form foam cells in the peritoneal cavity.
Deletion of ORP8 in bone marrow-derived cells, including macrophages, reduces lesion progression after 9 weeks of WTD challenge, despite increased amounts of circulating pro-atherogenic VLDL. Reduced macrophage foam cell formation and lower macrophage inflammatory potential are plausible mechanisms contributing to the observed reduction in atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4209969  PMID: 25347070
16.  Natural products reveal cancer cell dependence on oxysterol-binding proteins 
Nature chemical biology  2011;7(9):639-647.
Cephalostatin 1, OSW-1, ritterazine B and schweinfurthin A are natural products that potently, and in some cases selectively, inhibit the growth of cultured human cancer cell lines. The cellular targets of these small molecules have yet to be identified. We have discovered that these molecules target oxysterol binding protein (OSBP) and its closest paralog, OSBP-related protein 4L (ORP4L)—proteins not known to be involved in cancer cell survival. OSBP and the ORPs constitute an evolutionarily conserved protein superfamily, members of which have been implicated in signal transduction, lipid transport and lipid metabolism. The functions of OSBP and the ORPs, however, remain largely enigmatic. Based on our findings, we have named the aforementioned natural products ORPphilins. Here we used ORPphilins to reveal new cellular activities of OSBP. The ORPphilins are powerful probes of OSBP and ORP4L that will be useful in uncovering their cellular functions and their roles in human diseases.
PMCID: PMC3158287  PMID: 21822274
17.  PI4P/phosphatidylserine countertransport at ORP5- and ORP8-mediated ER–plasma membrane contacts 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2015;349(6246):428-432.
Lipid transfer between cell membrane bilayers at contacts between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and other membranes help to maintain membrane lipid homeostasis. We found that two similar ER integral membrane proteins, oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP)–related protein 5 (ORP5) and ORP8, tethered the ER to the plasma membrane (PM) via the interaction of their pleckstrin homology domains with phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) in this membrane. Their OSBP-related domains (ORDs) harbored either PI4P or phosphatidylserine (PS) and exchanged these lipids between bilayers. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments showed that ORP5 and ORP8 could mediate PI4P/PS counter transport between the ER and the PM, thus delivering PI4P to the ER-localized PI4P phosphatase Sac1 for degradation and PS from the ER to the PM. This exchange helps to control plasma membrane PI4P levels and selectively enrich PS in the PM.
PMCID: PMC4638224  PMID: 26206935
18.  Adenovirus RIDα uncovers a novel pathway requiring ORP1L for lipid droplet formation independent of NPC1 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(21):3309-3325.
Expression of the adenovirus protein RIDα rescues the cholesterol storage phenotype in NPC1-deficient cells by inducing formation of lipid droplets. The function of RIDα is independent of NPC1 but dependent on NPC2 and the oxysterol-binding protein ORP1L. This study provides the first evidence that ORP1L plays a role in sterol transport and LD formation.
Niemann–Pick disease type C (NPC) is caused by mutations in NPC1 or NPC2, which coordinate egress of low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol from late endosomes. We previously reported that the adenovirus-encoded protein RIDα rescues the cholesterol storage phenotype in NPC1-mutant fibroblasts. We show here that RIDα reconstitutes deficient endosome-to-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) transport, allowing excess LDL-cholesterol to be esterified by acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase and stored in lipid droplets (LDs) in NPC1-deficient cells. Furthermore, the RIDα pathway is regulated by the oxysterol-binding protein ORP1L. Studies have classified ORP1L as a sterol sensor involved in LE positioning downstream of GTP-Rab7. Our data, however, suggest that ORP1L may play a role in transport of LDL-cholesterol to a specific ER pool designated for LD formation. In contrast to NPC1, which is dispensable, the RIDα/ORP1L-dependent route requires functional NPC2. Although NPC1/NPC2 constitutes the major pathway, therapies that amplify minor egress routes for LDL-cholesterol could significantly improve clinical management of patients with loss-of-function NPC1 mutations. The molecular identity of putative alternative pathways, however, is poorly characterized. We propose RIDα as a model system for understanding physiological egress routes that use ORP1L to activate ER feedback responses involved in LD formation.
PMCID: PMC3814149  PMID: 24025716
19.  Docosahexaneoic acid (22:6,n-3) regulates rat hepatocyte SREBP-1 nuclear abundance by Erk- and 26S proteasome-dependent pathways 
Journal of lipid research  2005;47(1):181-192.
Insulin induces and dietary n-3 PUFAs suppress hepatic de novo lipogenesis by controlling sterol-regulatory element binding protein-1 nuclear abundance (nSREBP-1). Our goal was to define the mechanisms involved in this regulatory process. Insulin treatment of rat primary hepatocytes rapidly augments nSREBP-1 and mRNASREBP-1c while suppressing mRNAInsig-2 but not mRNAInsig-1. These events are preceded by rapid but transient increases in Akt and Erk phosphorylation. Removal of insulin from hepatocytes leads to a rapid decline in nSREBP-1 [half-time (T1/2) ~ 10 h] that is abrogated by inhibitors of 26S proteasomal degradation. 22:6,n-3, the major n-3 PUFA accumulating in livers of fish oil-fed rats, suppresses hepatocyte levels of nSREBP-1, mRNASREBP-1c, and mRNAInsig-2 but modestly and transiently induces mRNAInsig-1. More importantly, 22:6,n-3 accelerates the disappearance of hepatocyte nSREBP-1 (T1/2 ~ 4 h) through a 26S proteasome-dependent process. 22:6,n-3 has minimal effects on microsomal SREBP-1 and sterol-regulatory element binding protein cleavage-activating protein or nuclear SREBP-2. 22:6,n-3 transiently inhibits insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation but induces Erk phosphorylation. Inhibitors of Erk phosphorylation, but not overexpressed constitutively active Akt, rapidly attenuate 22:6,n-3 suppression of nSREBP-1. Thus, 22:6,n-3 suppresses hepatocyte nSREBP-1 through 26S proteasome- and Erk-dependent pathways. These studies reveal a novel mechanism for n-3 PUFA regulation of hepatocyte nSREBP-1 and lipid metabolism.—Botolin, D., Y. Wang, B. Christian, and D. B. Jump. Docosahexaneoic acid (22:6,n-3) regulates rat hepatocyte SREBP-1 nuclear abundance by Erk- and 26S proteasome-dependent pathways.
PMCID: PMC2764363  PMID: 16222032
sterol regulatory element binding protein-1; Insig-1; Insig-2
20.  Maintaining cholesterol homeostasis: Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins 
The molecular mechanism of how hepatocytes maintain cholesterol homeostasis has become much more transparent with the discovery of sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) in recent years. These membrane proteins are members of the basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper (bHLH-Zip) family of transcription factors. They activate the expression of at least 30 genes involved in the synthesis of cholesterol and lipids. SREBPs are synthesized as precursor proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where they form a complex with another protein, SREBP cleavage activating protein (SCAP). The SCAP molecule contains a sterol sensory domain. In the presence of high cellular sterol concentrations SCAP confines SREBP to the ER. With low cellular concentrations, SCAP escorts SREBP to activation in the Golgi. There, SREBP undergoes two proteolytic cleavage steps to release the mature, biologically active transcription factor, nuclear SREBP (nSREBP). nSREBP translocates to the nucleus and binds to sterol response elements (SRE) in the promoter/enhancer regions of target genes. Additional transcription factors are required to activate transcription of these genes. Three different SREBPs are known, SREBPs-1a, -1c and -2. SREBP-1a and -1c are isoforms produced from a single gene by alternate splicing. SREBP-2 is encoded by a different gene and does not display any isoforms. It appears that SREBPs alone, in the sequence described above, can exert complete control over cholesterol synthesis, whereas many additional factors (hormones, cytokines, etc.) are required for complete control of lipid metabolism. Medicinal manipulation of the SREBP/SCAP system is expected to prove highly beneficial in the management of cholesterol-related disease.
PMCID: PMC4611246  PMID: 15457548
21.  Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) is required for the perinuclear localization of intra-Golgi v-SNAREs 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(22):3534-3544.
OSBP regulates the Golgi cholesterol level. This study demonstrates that OSBP and cholesterol are essential for localization of Golgi v-SNAREs. Knockdown of ArfGAP1 restores v-SNARE localization in OSBP-depleted cells, suggesting that OSBP-regulated cholesterol ensures proper COP-I vesicle transport.
Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related proteins (ORPs) have been implicated in the distribution of sterols among intracellular organelles. OSBP regulates the Golgi cholesterol level, but how it relates to Golgi function is elusive. Here we report that OSBP is essential for the localization of intra-Golgi soluble vesicle N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion attachment protein receptors (v-SNAREs). Depletion of OSBP by small interfering RNA causes mislocalization of intra-Golgi v-SNAREs GS28 and GS15 throughout the cytoplasm without affecting the perinuclear localization of Golgi target-SNARE syntaxin5 and reduces the abundance of a Golgi enzyme, mannosidase II (Man II). GS28 mislocalization and Man II reduction are also induced by cellular cholesterol depletion. Three domains of OSBP—an endoplasmic reticulum–targeting domain, a Golgi-targeting domain, and a sterol-binding domain—are all required for Golgi localization of GS28. Finally, GS28 mislocalization and Man II reduction in OSBP-depleted cells are largely restored by depletion of ArfGAP1, a regulator of the budding of coat protein complex (COP)-I vesicles. From these results, we postulate that Golgi cholesterol level, which is controlled by OSBP, is essential for Golgi localization of intra-Golgi v-SNAREs by ensuring proper COP-I vesicle transport.
PMCID: PMC3826991  PMID: 24048449
22.  Structural mechanism for sterol sensing and transport by OSBP-related proteins 
Nature  2005;437(7055):154-158.
The oxysterol binding protein (OSBP)-related proteins (ORPs) are conserved from yeast to man 1,2 and are implicated in regulation of sterol pathways 3,4 and in signal transduction 5. The structure of the full-length yeast ORP Osh4 was determined at 1.5–1.9 Å resolution in complexes with ergosterol, cholesterol, and 7-, 20-, and 25-hydroxycholesterol. A single sterol molecule binds in a hydrophobic tunnel in a manner consistent with a transport function for ORPs. The entrance is blocked by a flexible N-terminal lid and surrounded by functionally critical basic residues. The structure of the open state of a lid-truncated form of Osh4 was determined at 2.5 Å resolution. Structural analysis and limited proteolysis show that sterol binding closes the lid and stabilizes a conformation favoring transport across aqueous barriers and transmitting signals. The unliganded structure exposes potential phospholipid-binding sites that are positioned for membrane docking and sterol exchange. Based on these observations we propose a model in which sterol and membrane binding promote reciprocal conformational changes that facilitate a sterol transfer and signaling cycle.
PMCID: PMC1431608  PMID: 16136145
23.  Nonvesicular sterol movement from plasma membrane to ER requires oxysterol-binding protein–related proteins and phosphoinositides 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;173(1):107-119.
Sterols are moved between cellular membranes by nonvesicular pathways whose functions are poorly understood. In yeast, one such pathway transfers sterols from the plasma membrane (PM) to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We show that this transport requires oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP)–related proteins (ORPs), which are a large family of conserved lipid-binding proteins. We demonstrate that a representative member of this family, Osh4p/Kes1p, specifically facilitates the nonvesicular transfer of cholesterol and ergosterol between membranes in vitro. In addition, Osh4p transfers sterols more rapidly between membranes containing phosphoinositides (PIPs), suggesting that PIPs regulate sterol transport by ORPs. We confirmed this by showing that PM to ER sterol transport slows dramatically in mutants with conditional defects in PIP biosynthesis. Our findings argue that ORPs move sterols among cellular compartments and that sterol transport and intracellular distribution are regulated by PIPs.
PMCID: PMC2063795  PMID: 16585271
24.  Adiponectin suppresses endoplasmic reticulum stress in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis 
In this study, we examined whether adiponectin suppresses endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) using male transgenic mice expressing nSREBP-1c in adipose tissue, nSREBP-1c/adiponectin double-transgenic mice expressing human adiponectin in the liver, and wild-type male mice as the control. Histological findings similar to those observed in liver specimens from patients with NASH were observed in the livers from the nSREBP-1c transgenic mice at 30 weeks of age. By contrast, the NASH-like liver histology was markedly attenuated in age-matched nSREBP-1c/adiponectin double-transgenic mice. The nSREBP-1c/adiponectin double-transgenic mice showed human adiponectin production in the liver and a restored circulating human adiponectin level. Human adiponectin messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression in the liver was identified in the nSREBP-1c/adiponectin double-transgenic mice, but adiponectin receptor 1 and 2 mRNA expression in the liver was normal. TNFα mRNA was decreased in the liver of the nSREBP-1c/adiponectin double-transgenic mice compared with the nSREBP-1c transgenic mice. The protein expressions of X-box-binding protein-1, activating transcription factor 4, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, TNFα and NFκB were down-regulated in liver tissues from the nSREBP-1c/adiponectin double-transgenic mice. Mouse adiponectin and activating transcription factor 6 expressions were almost the same in the three groups. Post-load plasma glucose levels were significantly lower in the nSREBP-1c/adiponectin double-transgenic mice compared with the nSREBP-1c transgenic mice. These results indicate that adiponectin expressed in the liver suppresses ER stress and attenuates hepatic steatosis, inflammation and insulin resistance in NASH. Adiponectin may open the way to novel therapies for human NASH.
PMCID: PMC3440812  PMID: 22977616
nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; adiponectin; endoplasmic reticulum stress
25.  OSBP-Related Protein Family in Lipid Transport Over Membrane Contact Sites 
Lipid insights  2015;8(Suppl 1):1-9.
Increasing evidence suggests that oxysterol-binding protein-related proteins (ORPs) localize at membrane contact sites, which are high-capacity platforms for inter-organelle exchange of small molecules and information. ORPs can simultaneously associate with the two apposed membranes and transfer lipids across the interbilayer gap. Oxysterol-binding protein moves cholesterol from the endoplasmic reticulum to trans-Golgi, driven by the retrograde transport of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI4P). Analogously, yeast Osh6p mediates the transport of phosphatidylserine from the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane in exchange for PI4P, and ORP5 and -8 are suggested to execute similar functions in mammalian cells. ORPs may share the capacity to bind PI4P within their ligand-binding domain, prompting the hypothesis that bidirectional transport of a phosphoinositide and another lipid may be a common theme among the protein family. This model, however, needs more experimental support and does not exclude a function of ORPs in lipid signaling.
PMCID: PMC4685180  PMID: 26715851
lipid signaling; lipid transport; membrane contact site; oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP); OSBP-related protein; OSBPL gene

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