Plasma HDL cholesterol levels are inversely related to risk for atherosclerosis. The ATP-binding cassette, subfamily A, member 1 (ABCA1) mediates the rate-controlling step in HDL particle formation, the assembly of free cholesterol and phospholipids with apoA-I. ABCA1 is expressed in many tissues; however, the physiological functions of ABCA1 in specific tissues and organs are still elusive. The liver is known to be the major source of plasma HDL, but it is likely that there are other important sites of HDL biogenesis. To assess the contribution of intestinal ABCA1 to plasma HDL levels in vivo, we generated mice that specifically lack ABCA1 in the intestine. Our results indicate that approximately 30% of the steady-state plasma HDL pool is contributed by intestinal ABCA1 in mice. In addition, our data suggest that HDL derived from intestinal ABCA1 is secreted directly into the circulation and that HDL in lymph is predominantly derived from the plasma compartment. These data establish a critical role for intestinal ABCA1 in plasma HDL biogenesis in vivo.
Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) is the major protein component of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and plays a central role in cholesterol metabolism. The lipid-free / lipid-poor form of apoA-I is the preferred substrate for the ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1). The interaction of apoA-I with ABCA1 leads to the formation of cholesterol laden high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, a key step in reverse cholesterol transport and the maintenance of cholesterol homeostasis. Knowledge of the structure of lipid-free apoA-I is essential to understanding its critical interaction with ABCA1 and the molecular mechanisms underlying HDL biogenesis. We therefore examined the structure of lipid-free apoA-I by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). Through site directed spin label EPR, we mapped the secondary structure of apoA-I and identified sites of spin coupling as residues 26, 44, 64, 167, 217 and 226. We capitalize on the fact that lipid-free apoA-I self-associates in an anti-parallel manner in solution. We employed these sites of spin coupling to define the central plane in the dimeric apoA-I complex. Applying both the constraints of dipolar coupling with the EPR-derived pattern of solvent accessibility, we assembled the secondary structure into a tertiary context, providing a solution structure for lipid-free apoA-I.
Patients with Tangier disease exhibit extremely low plasma HDL concentrations resulting from mutations in the ATP-binding cassette, sub-family A, member 1 (ABCA1) protein. ABCA1 controls the rate-limiting step in HDL particle assembly by mediating efflux of cholesterol and phospholipid from cells to lipid-free apoA-I, which forms nascent HDL particles. ABCA1 is widely expressed; however, the specific tissues involved in HDL biogenesis are unknown. To determine the role of the liver in HDL biogenesis, we generated mice with targeted deletion of the second nucleotide-binding domain of Abca1 in liver only (Abca1–L/–L). Abca1–L/–L mice had total plasma and HDL cholesterol concentrations that were 19% and 17% those of wild-type littermates, respectively. In vivo catabolism of HDL apoA-I from wild-type mice or human lipid-free apoA-I was 2-fold higher in Abca1–L/–L mice compared with controls due to a 2-fold increase in the catabolism of apoA-I by the kidney, with no change in liver catabolism. We conclude that in chow-fed mice, the liver is the single most important source of plasma HDL. Furthermore, hepatic, but not extrahepatic, Abca1 is critical in maintaining the circulation of mature HDL particles by direct lipidation of hepatic lipid-poor apoA-I, slowing its catabolism by the kidney and prolonging its plasma residence time.
Nascent high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles form from cellular lipids and extracellular lipid-free apolipoprotein AI (apoAI) in a process mediated by ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1). We have sought out compounds that inhibit nascent HDL biogenesis without affecting ABCA1 activity.
Methods and Results
Reconstituted HDL (rHDL) formation and cellular cholesterol efflux assays were used to show that two compounds that bond via hydrogen with phospholipids inhibit rHDL and nascent HDL production. In rHDL formation assays, the inhibitory effect of compound 1 (methyl 3α-acetoxy-7α,12α-di[(phenylaminocarbonyl)amino]-5β-cholan-24-oate), the more active of the two, depended on its ability to associate with phospholipids. In cell assays, compound 1 suppressed ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux to apoAI, the 18A peptide, and taurocholate with high specificity, without affecting ABCA1-independent cellular cholesterol efflux to HDL and endocytosis of acetylated low-density lipoprotein (AcLDL) and transferrin. Furthermore, compound 1 did not affect ABCA1 activity adversely, as ABCA1-mediated shedding of microparticles proceeded unabated and apoAI binding to ABCA1-expressing cells increased in its presence.
The inhibitory effects of compound 1 support a three-step model of nascent HDL biogenesis: plasma membrane remodeling by ABCA1, apoAI binding to ABCA1, and lipoprotein particle assembly. The compound inhibits the final step, causing accumulation of apoAI in ABCA1-expressing cells.
nascent HDL; rHDL; ABCA1; apoAI; reverse cholesterol transport
Mammalian spermatozoa lose plasma membrane cholesterol during their maturation in the epididymis and during their capacitation in the female reproductive tract. While acceptors such as high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and apolipoproteins A-I (apoA-I) and J have been found in male and female reproductive tracts, transporters that mediate cholesterol efflux from plasma membranes of spermatozoa to such acceptors have not yet been defined. Candidate transporters are members of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily including ABCA1, ABCA7, ABCG1 and ABCG4, which have all been implicated in the transport of sterols and phospholipids to apolipoproteins and HDL. Here we show that mouse spermatozoa in the seminiferous tubules and epididymis express ABCA1, ABCA7 and ABCG1, but not ABCG4. Moreover, we show that ABCA1, ABCA7 and ABCG1 antibodies decrease cholesterol efflux from spermatozoa to lipid acceptors apoA-I and albumin and inhibit in vitro fertilization.
ATP-binding cassette transporters; cholesterol efflux; in vitro fertilization; sperm; mouse
Ischaemic stroke is a common disorder with genetic and environmental components contributing to overall risk. Atherothromboembolic abnormalities, which play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of ischaemic stroke, are often the end result of dysregulation of lipid metabolism. The ATP Binding Cassette Transporter (ABCA1) is a key gene involved in lipid metabolism. It encodes the cholesterol regulatory efflux protein which mediates the transfer of cellular phospholipids and cholesterol to acceptor apolipoproteins such as apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I). Common polymorphisms in this gene affect High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C) and Apolipoprotein A-I levels and so influence the risk of atherosclerosis. This study has assessed the distribution of ABCA1 polymorphisms and haplotype arrangements in patients with ischaemic stroke and compared them to an appropriate control group. It also examined the relationship of these polymorphisms with serum lipid profiles in cases and controls.
We studied four common polymorphisms in ABCA1 gene: G/A-L158L, G/A-R219K, G/A-G316G and G/A-R1587K in 400 Caucasian ischaemic stroke patients and 487 controls. Dynamic Allele Specific Hybridisation (DASH) was used as the genotyping assay.
Genotype and allele frequencies of all polymorphisms were similar in cases and controls, except for a modest difference in the ABCA1 R219K allele frequency (P-value = 0.05). Using the PHASE2 program, haplotype frequencies for the four loci (158, 219, 316, and 1587) were estimated in cases and controls. There was no significant difference in overall haplotypes arrangement in patients group compared to controls (p = 0.27). 2211 and 1211 haplotypes (1 = common allele, 2 = rare allele) were more frequent in cases (p = 0.05). Adjusted ORs indicated 40% and 46% excess risk of stroke for these haplotypes respectively. However, none of the adjusted ORs were statistically significant. Individuals who had R219K "22" genotype had a higher LDL level (p = 0.001).
Our study does not support a major role for the ABCA1 gene as a risk factor for ischaemic stroke. Some haplotypes may confer a minor amount of increased risk or protection. Polymorphisms in this gene may influence serum lipid profile.
Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) has been characterized as a crucial step for antiatherosclerosis, which is initiated by ATP-binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) to mediate the efflux of cellular phospholipids and cholesterol to lipid-free apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I). However, the mechanisms underlying apoA-I/ABCA1 interaction to lead to the lipidation of apoA-I are poorly understood. There are several models proposed for the interaction of apoA-I with ABCA1 as well as the lipidation of apoA-I mediated by ABCA1. ApoA-I increases the levels of ABCA1 protein markedly. In turn, ABCA1 can stabilize apoA-I. The interaction of apoA-I with ABCA1 could activate signaling molecules that modulate posttranslational ABCA1 activity or lipid transport activity. The key signaling molecules in these processes include protein kinase A (PKA), protein kinase C (PKC), Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), Rho GTPases and Ca2+, and many factors also could influence the interaction of apoA-I with ABCA1. This review will summarize these mechanisms for the apoA-I interaction with ABCA1 as well as the signal transduction pathways involved in these processes.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) mediates reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), wherein excess cholesterol is conveyed from peripheral tissues to the liver and steroidogenic organs. During this process HDL continually transitions between subclass sizes, each with unique biological activities. For instance, RCT is initiated by the interaction of lipid-free/lipid-poor apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) with ABCA1, a membrane-associated lipid transporter, to form nascent HDL. Because nearly all circulating apoA-I is lipid-bound, the source of lipid-free/lipid-poor apoA-I is unclear. Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) then drives the conversion of nascent HDL to spherical HDL by catalyzing cholesterol esterification, an essential step in RCT. To investigate the relationship between HDL particle size and events critical to RCT such as LCAT activation and lipid-free apoA-I production for ABCA1 interaction, we reconstituted five subclasses of HDL particles (rHDL of 7.8, 8.4, 9.6, 12.2, and 17.0 nm in diameter, respectively) using various molar ratios of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, free cholesterol, and apoA-I. Kinetic analyses of this comprehensive array of rHDL particles suggest that apoA-I stoichiometry in rHDL is a critical factor governing LCAT activation. Electron microscopy revealed specific morphological differences in the HDL subclasses that may affect functionality. Furthermore, stability measurements demonstrated that the previously uncharacterized 8.4 nm rHDL particles rapidly convert to 7.8 nm particles, concomitant with the dissociation of lipid-free/lipid-poor apoA-I. Thus, lipid-free/lipid-poor apoA-I generated by the remodeling of HDL may be an essential intermediate in RCT and HDL’s in vivo maturation.
The mechanisms that deprive HDL of its cardioprotective properties are poorly understood. One potential pathway involves oxidative damage of HDL proteins by myeloperoxidase (MPO) a heme enzyme secreted by human artery wall macrophages. Mass spectrometric analysis demonstrated that levels of 3-chlorotyrosine and 3-nitrotyrosine—two characteristic products of MPO—are elevated in HDL isolated from patients with established cardiovascular disease. When apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), the major HDL protein, is oxidized by MPO, its ability to promote cellular cholesterol efflux by the membrane-associated ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) pathway is diminished. Biochemical studies revealed that oxidation of specific tyrosine and methionine residues in apoA-I contributes to this loss of ABCA1 activity. Another potential mechanism for generating dysfunctional HDL involves covalent modification of apoA-I by reactive carbonyls, which have been implicated in atherogenesis and diabetic vascular disease. Indeed, modification of apoA-I by malondialdehyde (MDA) or acrolein also markedly impaired the lipoprotein’s ability to promote cellular cholesterol efflux by the ABCA1 pathway. Tandem mass spectrometric analyses revealed that these reactive carbonyls target specific Lys residues in the C-terminus of apoA-I. Importantly, immunochemical analyses showed that levels of MDA-protein adducts are elevated in HDL isolated from human atherosclerotic lesions. Also, apoA-I co-localized with acrolein adducts in such lesions. Thus, lipid peroxidation products might specifically modify HDL in vivo. Our observations support the hypotheses that MPO and reactive carbonyls might generate dysfunctional HDL in humans.
Myeloperoxidase; malondialdehyde; acrolein; dysfunctional HDL; 3-chlorotyrosine; coronary artery disease
Chronic renal failure (CRF) causes oxidative stress, inflammation, oxidation of lipoproteins, impaired maturation of HDL and accelerated atherosclerosis. Uptake of oxidized lipoproteins by macrophages via scavenger receptors (scavenger receptor class A type I – SR-AI, and lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor – LOX-1) leads to foam cell formation and atherosclerosis. HDL mitigates atherosclerosis by retrieving surplus cholesterol via ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1 transporters whose expression is regulated by liver X receptor (LXR). Free cholesterol reaching the surface of HDL is esterified by lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) and sequestered in the core of HDL, thereby maximizing cholesterol uptake. In the liver, lipid-rich HDL unloads its lipid contents via reversible binding to SR-BI while lipid-poor HDL is degraded by the holo-receptor (ATP synthase β-chain).
Expression of the above molecules involved in reverse cholesterol/lipid transport was assessed in rats 8 weeks after 5/6 nephrectomy (CRF) or sham operation.
CRF caused heavy accumulation of neutral lipids, upregulation of SR-AI, LOX-1, LXRα/β, ABCA1 and ABCG1 in the aorta, reduction in LCAT in the plasma and no significant change in either SR-BI or β-chain ATP synthase in the liver.
Lipid accumulation despite upregulation of the efflux (LXR, ABCA1, ABCG1) system in the aorta in CRF is largely due to upregulation of influx (SR-AI and LOX-1) pathway and LCAT deficiency.
Oxidative stress; Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular disease; Lipid disorders; Cholesterol
Protein oxidation by phagocytic white blood cells is implicated in tissue injury during inflammation. One important target might be high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which protects against atherosclerosis by removing excess cholesterol from artery wall macrophages. In the human artery wall, cholesterol-laden macrophages are a rich source of myeloperoxidase (MPO), which uses hydrogen peroxide for oxidative reactions in the extracellular milieu. Levels of two characteristic products of MPO—chlorotyrosine and nitrotyrosine—are markedly elevated in HDL from human atherosclerotic lesions. Here, we describe how MPO-dependent chlorination impairs the ability of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), HDL’s major protein, to transport cholesterol by the ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) pathway. Faulty interactions between apoA-I and ABCA1 are involved. Tandem mass spectrometry and investigations of mutated forms of apoA-I demonstrate that tyrosine residues in apoA-I are chlorinated in a site-specific manner by chloramine intermediates on suitably juxtaposed lysine residues. Plasma HDL isolated from subjects with coronary artery disease (CAD) also contains higher levels of chlorinated and nitrated tyrosine residues than HDL from healthy subjects. Thus, the presence of chlorinated HDL might serve as a marker of CAD risk. Because HDL damaged by MPO in vitro becomes dysfunctional, inhibiting MPO in vivo might be cardioprotective.
3-Chlorotyrosine; 3-nitrotyrosine; biomarker; apolipoprotein A-I; dysfunctional HDL; coronary artery disease
The discovery of the ABCA1 lipid transporter has generated interest in modulating human plasma HDL levels and atherogenic risk by enhancing ABCA1 gene expression. To determine if increased ABCA1 expression modulates HDL metabolism in vivo, we generated transgenic mice that overexpress human ABCA1 (hABCA1-Tg). Hepatic and macrophage expression of hABCA1 enhanced macrophage cholesterol efflux to apoA-I; increased plasma cholesterol, cholesteryl esters (CEs), free cholesterol, phospholipids, HDL cholesterol, and apoA-I and apoB levels; and led to the accumulation of apoE-rich HDL1. ABCA1 transgene expression delayed 125I-apoA-I catabolism in both liver and kidney, leading to increased plasma apoA-I levels, but had no effect on apoB secretion after infusion of Triton WR1339. Although the plasma clearance of HDL-CE was not significantly altered in hABCA1-Tg mice, the net hepatic delivery of exogenous 3H-CEt-HDL, which is dependent on the HDL pool size, was increased 1.5-fold. In addition, the cholesterol and phospholipid concentrations in hABCA1-Tg bile were increased 1.8-fold. These studies show that steady-state overexpression of ABCA1 in vivo (a) raises plasma apoB levels without altering apoB secretion and (b) raises plasma HDL-C and apoA-I levels, facilitating hepatic reverse cholesterol transport and biliary cholesterol excretion. Similar metabolic changes may modify atherogenic risk in humans.
Accumulation of LDL-derived cholesterol by artery wall macrophages triggers atherosclerosis, the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Conversely, HDL retards atherosclerosis by promoting cholesterol efflux from macrophages by the membrane-associated ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) pathway. HDL has been proposed to lose its cardioprotective effects in subjects with atherosclerosis, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. One potential pathway involves oxidative damage by myeloperoxidase (MPO), a heme enzyme secreted by human artery wall macrophages. We used mass spectrometry to demonstrate that HDL isolated from patients with established cardiovascular disease contains elevated levels of 3-chlorotyrosine and 3-nitrotyrosine, two characteristic products of MPO. When apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), the major HDL protein, was oxidized by MPO, its ability to promote cellular cholesterol efflux by ABCA1 was impaired. Moreover, oxidized apoA-I was unable to activate lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), which rapidly converts free cholesterol to cholesteryl ester, a critical step in HDL maturation. Biochemical studies implicated tyrosine chlorination and methionine oxygenation in the loss of ABCA1 and LCAT activity by oxidized apoA-I. Oxidation of specific residues in apoA-I inhibited two key steps in cholesterol efflux from macrophages, raising the possibility that MPO initiates a pathway for generating dysfunctional HDL in humans.
reverse cholesterol transport; inflammation; hypochlorous acid; peroxynitrite; reactive nitrogen species; foam cell
Adipose tissue (AT) is the body’s largest free cholesterol (FC) reservoir and abundantly expresses ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), a key cholesterol transporter for HDL biogenesis. However, the extent to which AT ABCA1 expression contributes to HDL biogenesis in vivo is unknown.
Methods and Results
Adipocyte-specific ABCA1 knockout mice (ABCA1−A/−A) were generated by crossing ABCA1floxed mice with aP2 cre transgenic mice. AT from ABCA1−A/−A mice had <10% of wild type (WT) ABCA1 protein expression, but normal hepatic and intestinal expression. Deletion of adipocyte ABCA1 resulted in a significant decrease in plasma HDL cholesterol (~15%) and apoA-I (~13%) concentrations. AT from ABCA1−A/−A mice had a two-fold increase in FC content, compared to WT mice, and failed to efflux cholesterol to apoA-I. However, cholesterol efflux from AT to plasma HDL was similar for both genotypes of mice. Incubation of WT AT explants with apoA-I resulted in formation of multiple discrete-sized nascent HDL particles ranging in diameter from 7.1–12 nm; similar incubations with ABCA1−A/−A AT explants resulted in nascent HDL <8 nm. Plasma decay and tissue uptake of WT 125I-HDL tracer was similar in both genotypes of recipient mice, suggesting that adipocyte ABCA1 deficiency reduces plasma HDL concentrations solely by reducing nascent HDL particle formation.
We provide in vivo evidence that AT ABCA1-dependent cholesterol efflux and nascent HDL particle formation contribute to systemic HDL biogenesis and that AT ABCA1 expression plays an important role in adipocyte cholesterol homeostasis.
apolipoproteins; cholesterol; lipids; lipoproteins
In recent studies we demonstrated that systemic levels of protein-bound nitrotyrosine (NO2Tyr) and myeloperoxidase (MPO), a protein that catalyzes generation of nitrating oxidants, serve as independent predictors of atherosclerotic risk, burden, and incident cardiac events. We now show both that apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), the primary protein constituent of HDL, is a selective target for MPO-catalyzed nitration and chlorination in vivo and that MPO-catalyzed oxidation of HDL and apoA-I results in selective inhibition in ABCA1-dependent cholesterol efflux from macrophages. Dramatic selective enrichment in NO2Tyr and chlorotyrosine (ClTyr) content within apoA-I recovered from serum and human atherosclerotic lesions is noted, and analysis of serum from sequential subjects demonstrates that the NO2Tyr and ClTyr contents of apoA-I are markedly higher in individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Analysis of circulating HDL further reveals that higher NO2Tyr and ClTyr contents of the lipoprotein are each significantly associated with diminished ABCA1-dependent cholesterol efflux capacity of the lipoprotein. MPO as a likely mechanism for oxidative modification of apoA-I in vivo is apparently facilitated by MPO binding to apoA-I, as revealed by cross-immunoprecipitation studies in plasma, recovery of MPO within HDL-like particles isolated from human atheroma, and identification of a probable contact site between the apoA-I moiety of HDL and MPO. To our knowledge, the present results provide the first direct evidence for apoA-I as a selective target for MPO-catalyzed oxidative modification in human atheroma. They also suggest a potential mechanism for MPO-dependent generation of a proatherogenic dysfunctional form of HDL in vivo.
Antiatherogenic effects of plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) include the ability to inhibit apoptosis of macrophage foam cells. The ATP-binding cassette transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 have a major role in promoting cholesterol efflux from macrophages to apolipoprotein A-1 and HDL and are upregulated during the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells (efferocytosis).
The goal of this study was to determine the roles of ABCA1 and ABCG1 in preserving the viability of macrophages during efferocytosis.
Methods and Results
We show that despite similar clearance of apoptotic cells, peritoneal macrophages from Abca1−/−Abcg1−/−, Abcg1−/−, and, to a lesser extent, Abca1−/− mice are much more prone to apoptosis during efferocytosis compared to wild-type cells. Similar findings were observed following incubations with oxidized phospholipids, and the ability of HDL to protect against oxidized phospholipid-induced apoptosis was markedly reduced in Abca1−/−Abcg1−/− and Abcg1−/− cells. These effects were independent of any role of ABCA1 and ABCG1 in mediating oxidized phospholipid efflux but were reversed by cyclodextrin-mediated cholesterol efflux. The apoptotic response observed in Abca1−/−Abcg1−/− macrophages after oxidized phospholipid exposure or engulfment of apoptotic cells was dependent on an excessive oxidative burst secondary to enhanced assembly of NADPH oxidase (NOX)2 complexes, leading to sustained Jnk activation which turned on the apoptotic cell death program. Increased NOX2 assembly required Toll-like receptors 2/4 and MyD88 signaling, which are known to be enhanced in transporter deficient cells in a lipid raft–dependent fashion.
We identified a new beneficial role of ABCA1, ABCG1 and HDL in dampening the oxidative burst and preserving viability of macrophages following exposure to oxidized phospholipids and/or apoptotic cells.
ABC transporters; HDL; cholesterol; efferocytosis; oxidative stress
Reduced plasma cholesterol and increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels promote regression of atherosclerosis, in a process characterized by lipid unloading and emigration of macrophages from lesions. In contrast free cholesterol loading of macrophages leads to imbalanced Rac1/Rho activities and impaired chemotaxis.
To study the role of HDL and the ATP-binding cassette transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 in modulating the chemotaxis of macrophages.
Methods and Results
Abca1−/−Abcg1−/− mouse macrophages displayed profoundly impaired chemotaxis both in a Transwell chamber assay and in the peritoneal cavity of wild-type (WT) mice. HDL reversed impaired chemotaxis in free cholesterol–loaded WT macrophages but was without effect in Abca1−/−Abcg1−/− cells, whereas cyclodextrin was effective in both. Abca1−/−Abcg1−/− macrophages had markedly increased Rac1 activity and increased association of Rac1 with the plasma membrane (PM). Their defective chemotaxis was reversed by a Rac1 inhibitor. To gain a better understanding of the role of transporters in PM cholesterol movement, we measured transbilayer PM sterol distribution. In WT macrophages, the majority of cholesterol was located on the inner leaflet, whereas on upregulation of transporters by liver X receptor activation, PM sterol was shifted to the outer leaflet, where it could be removed by HDL. Abca1−/−Abcg1−/− macrophages showed increased PM sterol content and defective redistribution of sterol to the outer leaflet.
Deletion of ABCA1 and ABCG1 causes an increased cholesterol content on the inner leaflet of the PM, associated with increased Rac1 PM localization, activation, and impairment of migration. ABCA1 and ABCG1 facilitate macrophage chemotaxis by promoting PM transbilayer cholesterol movement and may contribute to the ability of HDL to promote regression of atherosclerosis.
ABCA1; ABCG1; migration; Rac1; HDL
Cholesterol efflux from cells to apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) acceptors via the ATP-binding cassette transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 is thought to be central in the antiatherogenic mechanism. MicroRNA (miR)-33 is known to target ABCA1 and ABCG1 in vivo.
Methods and Results
We assessed the impact of the genetic loss of miR-33 in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. MiR-33 and apoE double-knockout mice (miR-33−/−Apoe−/−) showed an increase in circulating HDL-C levels with enhanced cholesterol efflux capacity compared with miR-33+/+Apoe−/− mice. Peritoneal macrophages from miR-33−/−Apoe−/− mice showed enhanced cholesterol efflux to apoA-I and HDL-C compared with miR-33+/+Apoe−/− macrophages. Consistent with these results, miR-33−/−Apoe−/− mice showed reductions in plaque size and lipid content. To elucidate the roles of miR-33 in blood cells, bone marrow transplantation was performed in these mice. Mice transplanted with miR-33−/−Apoe−/− bone marrow showed a significant reduction in lipid content in atherosclerotic plaque compared with mice transplanted with miR-33+/+Apoe−/− bone marrow, without an elevation of HDL-C. Some of the validated targets of miR-33 such as RIP140 (NRIP1) and CROT were upregulated in miR-33−/−Apoe−/− mice compared with miR-33+/+Apoe−/− mice, whereas CPT1a and AMPKα were not.
These data demonstrate that miR-33 deficiency serves to raise HDL-C, increase cholesterol efflux from macrophages via ABCA1 and ABCG1, and prevent the progression of atherosclerosis. Many genes are altered in miR-33-deficient mice, and detailed experiments are required to establish miR-33 targeting therapy in humans.
ABCA1; ABCG1; atherosclerosis; HDL-C; microRNA
ABCA1, a member of the ATP-binding cassette family of transporters, lipidates ApoE (apolipoprotein A) and is essential for the generation of HDL (high-density lipoprotein)-like particles in the CNS (central nervous system). Lack of Abca1 increases amyloid deposition in several AD (Alzheimer's disease) mouse models. We hypothesized that deletion of only one copy of Abca1 in APP23 (where APP is amyloid precursor protein) AD model mice will aggravate memory deficits in these mice. Using the Morris Water Maze, we demonstrate that 2-year-old Abca1 heterozygous APP23 mice (referred to as APP23/het) have impaired learning during acquisition, and impaired memory retention during the probe trial when compared with age-matched wild-type mice (referred to as APP23/wt). As in our previous studies, the levels of ApoE in APP23/het mice were decreased, but the differences in the levels of Aβ and thioflavin-S-positive plaques between both groups were insignificant. Importantly, dot blot analysis demonstrated that APP23/het mice have a significantly higher level of soluble A11-positive Aβ (amyloid β protein) oligomers compared with APP23/wt which correlated negatively with cognitive performance. To confirm this finding, we performed immunohistochemistry with the A11 antibody, which revealed a significant increase of A11-positive oligomer structures in the CA1 region of hippocampi of APP23/het. This characteristic region-specific pattern of A11 staining was age-dependent and was missing in younger APP23 mice lacking Abca1. In contrast, the levels of Aβ*56, as well as other low-molecular-mass Aβ oligomers, were unchanged among the groups. Overall, the results of the present study demonstrate that in aged APP23 mice memory deficits depend on Abca1 and are likely to be mediated by the amount of Aβ oligomers deposited in the hippocampus.
ABCA1; Abca1-knockout mouse; Alzheimer's disease; amyloid β protein; apolipoprotein E (ApoE); APP transgenic mouse; Aβ, amyloid β protein; ABCA1, ATP-binding cassette transporter 1; AD, Alzheimer's disease; ApoE, apolipoprotein E; APP, amyloid precursor protein; CNS, central nervous system; DAPI, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; GFAP, glial fibrillary acidic protein; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; LXR, liver X receptor; MWM, Morris Water Maze; PBST, PBS containing 0.2% Triton X-100; Thio-S, thioflavin S; X-34, 1,4-bis(3-carboxy-4-hydroxyphenylethenyl)-benzene
Excess accumulation of cholesterol in macrophages results in foam cell production and lesion development. Recent studies have demonstrated that ATP-binding cassette protein A1 (ABCA1) is highly regulated in macrophages and mediates the efflux of cholesterol and phospholipids to apolipoproteins, a process necessary for HDL formation. The goal of this study was to determine the contribution of monocyte/macrophage ABCA1 to HDL formation in vivo. We generated mice expressing ABCA1 in macrophages and mice with selected inactivation of ABCA1 in macrophages by bone marrow transplantation in ABCA1-deficient (ABC1–/–) and wild-type (WT) mice. At all times, the level of HDL in ABC1–/– recipient mice remained low relative to WT recipient mice irrespective of the genotype of the donor macrophage ABCA1 or high-fat feeding. Expression of WT macrophage ABCA1 in ABC1–/– mice resulted in a small but significant increase in apoA-I levels starting 2 weeks after transplantation. No further increase in apoAI was observed up to 14 weeks after transplantation. The increase in apoAI was accompanied by a small but significant increase in HDL cholesterol 6 weeks after transplantation. The HDL formed as a consequence of the expression of WT macrophage ABCA1 migrated to the alpha position in a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. These results demonstrate that monocyte/macrophage ABCA1 contributes to HDL formation; however, the contribution to the overall plasma HDL levels is minimal.
The single and combined effects of scavenger receptor-BI (SR-BI), ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABC) A1 and G1 on cholesterol efflux from Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells were investigated.
When apolipoproteinA-I (apoA-I) was used as an acceptor, ABCA1 overexpression led to an increase in total cholesterol (TC) in medium which is attributable to a 2-fold increase in free cholesterol (FC) content. When high-density lipoprotein 3 (HDL3) was used as an acceptor, SR-BI overexpression not only promoted FC efflux, but also promoted the uptake of cholesteryl ester (CE) into cells, resulting in no TC varieties in medium. Overexpression of ABCG1 increased both the FC and CE levels in medium. However, when apoA-I and HDL3 were both used as acceptors, coexpression of SR-BI has no effect on ABCA1-mediated increased FC and TC accumulation in medium. Interestingly, coexpression of SR-BI with ABCG1 blocked the ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux to HDL3, mostly by promoting the reuptake of CE from the medium. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that SR-BI interacted with ABCG1 in BHK cells overexpressing ABCG1 and SR-BI.
We found SR-BI associates with ABCG1 and inhibits ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux from cells to HDL3.
The apolipoprotein (apo) A-I mimetic peptide 5A is highly specific for ABCA1-transporter mediated cholesterol efflux. We investigated whether the 5A peptide shares other beneficial features of apoA-I, such as protection against inflammation and oxidation.
New-Zealand White rabbits received an infusion of apoA-I, reconstituted HDL containing apoA-I ((A-I)rHDL) or the 5A peptide complexed with phospholipids (PLPC), prior to inserting a collar around the carotid artery. Human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) were incubated with (A-I)rHDL or 5A/PLPC prior to TNFa stimulation.
ApoA-I, (A-I)rHDL and 5A/PLPC reduced the collar mediated increase in (i) endothelial expression of cell adhesion molecules VCAM-1 and ICAM-1, (ii) O2− production as well as the expression of the Nox4 catalytic subunits of the NADPH oxidase, and (iii) infiltration of circulating neutrophils into the carotid intima-media. In HCAECs, both 5A/PLPC and (A-I)rHDL inhibited TNFa induced ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression as well as the NF-κB signalling cascade and O2− production. The effects of the 5A/PLPC complex were no longer apparent in HCAECs knocked down for ABCA1.
Like apoA-I, the 5A peptide inhibits acute inflammation and oxidative stress in rabbit carotids and HCAECs. In vitro, the 5A peptide exerts these beneficial effects through interaction with ABCA1.
HDL; apoA-I; mimetic peptide; inflammation; oxidation
The ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) is essential protein involved in lipid metabolism. The present study was undertaken to detect the possible association of polymorphisms in the ABCA1 gene [rs2230806 (R219K) and rs2230808 (R1587K)] and lipid profile in Greek young nurses.
The study population consisted of 308 unrelated nurses who were genotyped and the ABCA1 polymorphisms were detected. Additionally, lipid profile [total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TGs), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and apolipoprotein (apo) A] was evaluated.
There was no difference in the genotypic and allelic frequencies of the R219K polymorphism according to lipid profile. The R1587K genotypes differed significantly according to TC, LDL-C and TGs concentration (p = 0.023, p = 0.014 and p = 0.047, respectively). Particularly, significant difference in TC, LDL-C and TGs concentration was detected between RK and RR genotypes (p = 0.006, p = 0.004, p = 0.014, respectively). Women with RK genotype compared to RR genotype had higher concentration of TGs (134.25 mg/dl vs 108.89 mg/dl, p = 0.014, respectively), total cholesterol (207.41 mg/dl vs 187.69 mg/dl, p = 0.006, respectively), and LDL-C (110.6 mg/dl vs 96.9 mg/dl, p = 0.004, respectively).
These findings suggest that the R1587K polymorphism of ABCA1 gene was associated with lipid profile of Greek nurses. Women with RK genotype had higher TGs, total and LDL-C concentration compared to RR genotype. These observations may be significant in assessing the risk of CAD since a 1% change in LDL-C is associated with a 1% change of cardiovascular events. Also, TGs concentration were documented to play a significant role in women. However, this needs to be confirmed by larger studies.
Cholesterol-loaded macrophage foam cells are a central component of atherosclerotic lesions. ABCA1, the defective molecule in Tangier disease, mediates the efflux of phospholipids and cholesterol from cells to apoA-I, reversing foam cell formation. In ABCA1, we identified a sequence rich in proline, glutamic acid, serine, and threonine (PEST sequence) that enhances the degradation of ABCA1 by calpain protease and thereby controls the cell surface concentration and cholesterol efflux activity of ABCA1. In an apparent positive feedback loop, apoA-I binds ABCA1, promotes lipid efflux, inhibits calpain degradation, and leads to increased levels of ABCA1. ApoA-I infusion also increases ABCA1 in vivo. These studies reveal a novel mode of regulation of ABCA1 by PEST sequence–mediated calpain proteolysis that appears to be reversed by apolipoprotein-mediated phospholipid efflux. Inhibition of ABCA1 degradation by calpain could represent a novel therapeutic approach to increasing macrophage cholesterol efflux and decreasing atherosclerosis.
Adipose harbors a large depot of free cholesterol. However, a role for adipose in cholesterol lipidation of HDL in vivo is not established. We present the first evidence that adipocytes support transfer of cholesterol to HDL in vivo as well as in vitro and implicate ABCA1 and SR-BI, but not ABCG1, cholesterol transporters in this process.
Methods and Results
Cholesterol efflux from wild-type (WT), ABCA1−/−, SR-BI−/− and ABCG1−/− adipocytes to apoA-I and HDL3 were measured in vitro. 3T3L1-adipocytes, labeled with 3H-cholesterol, were injected intraperitoneally (IP) into WT, apoA-I transgenic and apoA-I−/− mice and tracer movement onto plasma HDL monitored. Identical studies were performed with labeled WT, ABCA1−/− or SR-BI−/− mouse-embryonic-fibroblast (MEF) adipocytes. The effect of TNFα on transporter expression and cholesterol efflux was monitored during adipocyte differentiation. Cholesterol efflux to apoA-I and HDL3 was impaired in ABCA1−/− and SR-BI−/− adipocytes respectively, with no effect observed in ABCG1−/− adipocytes. Injection IP of labeled 3T3L1-adipocytes resulted in increased HDL-associated 3H-cholesterol in apoA-I transgenic mice but reduced levels in apoA-I −/− animals. Injection IP of labeled ABCA1−/− or SR-BI−/− adipocytes reduced plasma counts relative to their respective controls. TNFα reduced both ABCA1 and SR-BI expression and impaired cholesterol efflux from partially-differentiated adipocytes.
These data suggest a novel metabolic function of adipocytes in promoting cholesterol transfer to HDL in vivo and implicate adipocyte SR-BI and ABCA1, but not ABCG1, in this process. Further, adipocyte modulation of HDL may be impaired in adipose inflammatory disease states such as type-2 diabetes.
cholesterol; lipoproteins; adipocytes; atherosclerosis; inflammation