A clinical trial of a protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor (lonafarnib) for the treatment of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) was recently completed. Here, we discuss the mutation that causes HGPS, the rationale for inhibiting protein farnesyltransferase, the potential limitations of this therapeutic approach, and new potential strategies for treating the disease.
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is a 448-amino-acid head-to-tail dimeric enzyme that hydrolyzes triglycerides within capillaries. LPL is secreted by parenchymal cells into the interstitial spaces; it then binds to GPIHBP1 (glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored high density lipoprotein-binding protein 1) on the basolateral face of endothelial cells and is transported to the capillary lumen. A pair of amino acid substitutions, C418Y and E421K, abolish LPL binding to GPIHBP1, suggesting that the C-terminal portion of LPL is important for GPIHBP1 binding. However, a role for LPL's N terminus has not been excluded, and published evidence has suggested that only full-length homodimers are capable of binding GPIHBP1. Here, we show that LPL's C-terminal domain is sufficient for GPIHBP1 binding. We found, serendipitously, that two LPL missense mutations, G409R and E410V, render LPL susceptible to cleavage at residue 297 (a known furin cleavage site). The C terminus of these mutants (residues 298–448), bound to GPIHBP1 avidly, independent of the N-terminal fragment. We also generated an LPL construct with an in-frame deletion of the N-terminal catalytic domain (residues 50–289); this mutant was secreted but also was cleaved at residue 297. Once again, the C-terminal domain (residues 298–448) bound GPIHBP1 avidly. The binding of the C-terminal fragment to GPIHBP1 was eliminated by C418Y or E421K mutations. After exposure to denaturing conditions, the C-terminal fragment of LPL refolds and binds GPIHBP1 avidly. Thus, the binding of LPL to GPIHBP1 requires only the C-terminal portion of LPL and does not depend on full-length LPL homodimers.
Gpihbp1-deficient mice (Gpihbp1−/−) lack the ability to transport lipoprotein lipase to the capillary lumen, resulting in mislocalization of LPL within tissues, defective lipolysis of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, and chylomicronemia. We asked whether GPIHBP1 deficiency and mislocalization of catalytically active LPL would alter the composition of triglycerides in adipose tissue or perturb the expression of lipid biosynthetic genes. We also asked whether perturbations in adipose tissue composition and gene expression, if they occur, would be accompanied by reciprocal metabolic changes in the liver.
Methods and Results
The chylomicronemia in Gpihbp1−/− mice was associated with reduced levels of essential fatty acids in adipose tissue triglycerides and increased expression of lipid biosynthetic genes. The liver exhibited the opposite changes—increased levels of essential fatty acids in triglycerides and reduced expression of lipid biosynthetic genes.
Defective lipolysis in Gpihbp1−/− mice causes reciprocal metabolic perturbations in adipose tissue and liver. In adipose tissue, the essential fatty acid content of triglycerides is reduced and lipid biosynthetic gene expression is increased, while the opposite changes occur in the liver.
lipoprotein lipase; hypertriglyceridemia; lipolysis; essential fatty acids; lipid biosynthetic genes
Purpose of review
We summarize recent progress on GPIHBP1, a molecule that transports lipoprotein lipase (LPL) to the capillary lumen, and discuss several newly studied molecules that appear important for the regulation of LPL activity.
LPL, the enzyme responsible for the lipolytic processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, interacts with multiple proteins and is regulated at multiple levels. Several regulators of LPL activity have been known for years and have been investigated thoroughly, but several have been identified only recently, including an endothelial cell protein that transports LPL to the capillary lumen, a microRNA that reduces LPL transcript levels, a sorting protein that targets LPL for uptake and degradation, and a transcription factor that increases the expression of apolipoproteins that regulate LPL activity.
Proper regulation of LPL is important for controlling the delivery of lipid nutrients to tissues. Recent studies have identified GPIHBP1 as the molecule that transports LPL to the capillary lumen, and have also identified other molecules that are potentially important for regulating LPL activity. These new discoveries open new doors for understanding basic mechanisms of lipolysis and hyperlipidemia.
diabetes mellitus; gene regulation; lipoproteins; triglyceride metabolism
GPIHBP1, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored Ly6 protein of capillary endothelial cells, binds lipoprotein lipase (LPL) avidly, but its ability to bind related lipase family members has never been evaluated. We sought to define the ability of GPIHBP1 to bind other lipase family members as well as other apolipoproteins and lipoproteins.
Methods and Results
As judged by cell-based and cell-free binding assays, LPL binds to GPIHBP1 but other members of the lipase family do not. We also examined the binding of apoAV–phospholipid disks to GPIHBP1. ApoAV binds avidly to GPIHBP1-transfected cells; this binding requires GPIHBP1’s amino-terminal acidic domain and is independent of its cysteine-rich Ly6 domain (the latter domain is essential for LPL binding). GPIHBP1-transfected cells did not bind HDL. Chylomicrons binds avidly to GPIHBP1-transfected CHO cells, but this binding is dependent on GPIHBP1’s ability to bind LPL within the cell culture medium.
GPIHBP1 binds LPL but does not bind other lipase family members. GPIHBP1 binds apoAV but did not bind apoAI or HDL. The ability of GPIHBP1-transfected CHO cells to bind chylomicrons is mediated by LPL; chylomicron binding does not occur unless GPIHBP1 first captures LPL from the cell culture medium.
lipoprotein lipase; chylomicronemia; hypertriglyceridemia; GPIHBP1
Adult GPIHBP1-deficient mice (Gpihbp1−/−) have severe hypertriglyceridemia; however, the plasma triglyceride levels are only mildly elevated during the suckling phase when lipoprotein lipase (Lpl) is expressed at high levels in the liver. Lpl expression in the liver can be induced in adult mice with dietary cholesterol. We therefore hypothesized that plasma triglyceride levels in adult Gpihbp1−/− mice would be sensitive to cholesterol intake.
Methods and Results
After 4–8 weeks on a western diet containing 0.15% cholesterol, plasma triglyceride levels in Gpihbp1−/− mice were 10,000–12,000 mg/dl. When 0.005% ezetimibe was added to the diet to block cholesterol absorption, Lpl expression in the liver was reduced significantly, and the plasma triglyceride levels were significantly higher (>15,000 mg/dl). We also assessed plasma triglyceride levels in Gpihbp1−/− mice fed western diets containing either high (1.3%) or low (0.05%) amounts of cholesterol. The high-cholesterol diet significantly increased Lpl expression in the liver and lowered plasma triglyceride levels.
Treatment of Gpihbp1−/− mice with ezetimibe lowers Lpl expression in the liver and increases plasma triglyceride levels. A high-cholesterol diet had the opposite effects. Thus, cholesterol intake modulates plasma triglyceride levels in Gpihbp1−/− mice.
lipoprotein lipase; chylomicronemia; hypertriglyceridemia; GPIHBP1
The lipolytic processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins by lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is the central event in plasma lipid metabolism, providing lipids for storage in adipose tissue and fuel for vital organs such as the heart. LPL is synthesized and secreted by myocytes and adipocytes but then finds its way into the lumen of capillaries, where it hydrolyzes lipoprotein triglycerides. The mechanism by which LPL reaches the lumen of capillaries represents one of the most persistent mysteries of plasma lipid metabolism. Here, we show that GPIHBP1 is responsible for the transport of LPL into capillaries. In Gpihbp1-deficient mice, LPL is mislocalized to the interstitial spaces surrounding myocytes and adipocytes. Also, we show that GPIHBP1 is located at the basolateral surface of capillary endothelial cells and actively transports LPL across endothelial cells. Our experiments define the function of GPIHBP1 in triglyceride metabolism and provide a mechanism for the transport of LPL into capillaries.
Purpose of review
This review summarizes recent data indicating that glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored high density lipoprotein–binding protein 1 (GPIHBP1) plays a key role in the lipolytic processing of chylomicrons.
Lipoprotein lipase (LpL) hydrolyzes triglycerides in chylomicrons at the luminal surface of the capillaries in heart, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle. However, the endothelial cell molecule that facilitates the lipolytic processing of chylomicrons has never been clearly defined. Mice lacking GPIHBP1 manifest chylomicronemia, with plasma triglyceride levels as high as 5,000 mg/dl. In wild-type mice, GPIHBP1 is expressed on the luminal surface of capillaries in heart, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle. Cells transfected with GPIHBP1 bind both chylomicrons and LpL avidly.
The chylomicronemia in Gpihbp1-deficient mice, the fact that GPIHBP1 is located within the lumen of capillaries, and the fact that GPIHBP1 binds LpL and chylomicrons suggest that GPIHBP1 is a key platform for the lipolytic processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.
Chylomicronemia; lipoprotein lipase; hypertriglyceridemia; GPI-anchored proteins
Human geneticists have shown that some progeroid syndromes are caused by mutations that interfere with the conversion of farnesyl-prelamin A to mature lamin A. For example, Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome is caused by LMNA mutations that lead to the accumulation of a farnesylated version of prelamin A. In this review, we discuss the posttranslational modifications of prelamin A and their relevance to the pathogenesis and treatment of progeroid syndromes.
prenylation; ZMPSTE24; restrictive dermopathy; FTI
Stimulation of osteoblast differentiation from mesenchymal stem cells is a potential strategy for bone repair. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) that induce osteoblastic differentiation have been successfully used in humans to treat fractures. Here we outline a new approach to the stimulation of osteoblast differentiation using small molecules that stimulate BMP activity. We have identified the amiloride derivative phenamil as a stimulator of osteoblast differentiation and mineralization. Remarkably, phenamil acts cooperatively with BMPs to induce the expression of BMP target genes, osteogenic markers, and matrix mineralization in both mesenchymal stem cell lines and calvarial organ cultures. Transcriptional profiling of cells treated with phenamil led to the identification of tribbles homolog 3 (Trb3) as a mediator of its effects. Trb3 is induced by phenamil selectively in cells with osteoblastic potential. Both Trb3 and phenamil stabilize the expression of SMAD, the critical transcription factor in BMP signaling, by promoting the degradation of SMAD ubiquitin regulatory factor 1. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of Trb3 blunts the effects of phenamil on BMP signaling and osteogenesis. Thus, phenamil induces osteogenic differentiation, at least in part, through Trb3-dependent promotion of BMP action. The synergistic use of small molecules such as phenamil along with BMPs may provide new strategies for the promotion of bone healing.
The triglycerides in chylomicrons are hydrolyzed by lipoprotein lipase (LpL) along the luminal surface of the capillaries. However, the endothelial cell molecule that facilitates chylomicron processing by LpL has not yet been defined. Here, we show that glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored high density lipoprotein–binding protein 1 (GPIHBP1) plays a critical role in the lipolytic processing of chylomicrons. Gpihbp1-deficient mice exhibit a striking accumulation of chylomicrons in the plasma, even on a low-fat diet, resulting in milky plasma and plasma triglyceride levels as high as 5,000 mg/dl. Normally, Gpihbp1 is expressed highly in heart and adipose tissue, the same tissues that express high levels of LpL. In these tissues, GPIHBP1 is located on the luminal face of the capillary endothelium. Expression of GPIHBP1 in cultured cells confers the ability to bind both LpL and chylomicrons. These studies strongly suggest that GPIHBP1 is an important platform for the LpL-mediated processing of chylomicrons in capillaries.
Genes encoding biosynthetic enzymes that make ergosterol, the major fungal membrane sterol, are regulated, in part, at the transcriptional level. Two transcription factors, Upc2p and Ecm22p, bind to the promoters of most ergosterol biosynthetic (ERG) genes, including ERG2 and ERG3, and activate these genes upon sterol depletion. We have identified the transcriptional activation domains of Upc2p and Ecm22p and found that UPC2-1, a mutation that allows cells to take up sterols aerobically, increased the potency of the activation domain. The equivalent mutation in ECM22 also greatly enhanced transcriptional activation. The C-terminal regions of Upc2p and Ecm22p, which contained activation domains, also conferred regulation in response to sterol levels. Hence, the activation and regulatory domains of these proteins overlapped. However, the two proteins differed markedly in how they respond to an increased need for sterols. Upon inducing conditions, Upc2p levels increased, and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments revealed more Upc2p at promoters even when the activation/regulatory domains were tethered to a different DNA-binding domain. However, induction resulted in decreased Ecm22p levels and a corresponding decrease in the amount of Ecm22p bound to promoters. Thus, these two activators differ in their contributions to the regulation of their targets.
Lamin A is formed from prelamin A by four post-translational processing steps—farnesylation, release of the last three amino acids of the protein, methylation of the farnesylcysteine and the endoproteolytic release of the C-terminal 15 amino acids (including the farnesylcysteine methyl ester). When the final processing step does not occur, a farnesylated and methylated prelamin A accumulates in cells, causing a severe progeroid disease, restrictive dermopathy (RD). Whether RD is caused by the retention of farnesyl lipid on prelamin A, or by the retention of the last 15 amino acids of the protein, is unknown. To address this issue, we created knock-in mice harboring a mutant Lmna allele (LmnanPLAO) that yields exclusively non-farnesylated prelamin A (and no lamin C). These mice had no evidence of progeria but succumbed to cardiomyopathy. We suspected that the non-farnesylated prelamin A in the tissues of these mice would be strikingly mislocalized to the nucleoplasm, but this was not the case; most was at the nuclear rim (indistinguishable from the lamin A in wild-type mice). The cardiomyopathy could not be ascribed to an absence of lamin C because mice expressing an otherwise identical knock-in allele yielding only wild-type prelamin A appeared normal. We conclude that lamin C synthesis is dispensable in mice and that the failure to convert prelamin A to mature lamin A causes cardiomyopathy (at least in the absence of lamin C). The latter finding is potentially relevant to the long-term use of protein farnesyltransferase inhibitors, which lead to an accumulation of non-farnesylated prelamin A.
The modification of proteins with farnesyl or geranylgeranyl lipids, a process called protein prenylation, facilitates interactions of proteins with membrane surfaces. Protein prenylation is carried out by a pair of cytosolic enzymes, protein farnesyltransferase (FTase) and protein geranylgeranyltransferase type I (GGTase-I). FTase and GGTase-I have attracted interest as therapeutic targets for both cancer and progeria, but very little information exists on the importance of these enzymes for homeostasis of normal tissues. One study actually suggested that FTase is entirely dispensable. To explore the importance of the protein prenyltransferases for normal tissues, we used conditional knockout alleles for Fntb and Pggt1b (which encode the β-subunits of FTase and GGTase-I, respectively) and a keratin 14–Cre transgene to create mice lacking FTase or GGTase-I in skin keratinocytes. Keratinocyte-specific Fntb knockout mice were viable but developed severe alopecia. Although hair follicles appeared normal during development, they were morphologically abnormal after birth, and ultrastructural and immunohistochemical studies revealed many apoptotic cells. The interfollicular epidermis of Fntb-deficient mice appeared normal; however, keratinocytes from these mice could not proliferate in culture. As expected, non-farnesylated prelamin A and non-farnesylated DNAJA1 accumulated in Fntb-deficient keratinocytes. Keratinocyte-specific Pggt1b knockout mice survived development but died shortly after birth. Like Fntb-deficient keratinocytes, Pggt1b-deficient keratinocytes did not proliferate in culture. Thus, both FTase and GGTase-I are required for the homeostasis of skin keratinocytes.
A recently developed proteomic strategy, the “GG-azide”-labeling approach, is described for the detection and proteomic analysis of geranylgeranylated proteins. This approach involves metabolic incorporation of a synthetic azido-geranylgeranyl analog and chemoselective derivatization of azido-geranylgeranyl-modified proteins by the “click” chemistry, using a tetramethylrhodamine-alkyne. The resulting conjugated proteins can be separated by 1-D or 2-D and pH fractionation, and detected by fluorescence imaging. This method is compatible with downstream LC-MS/MS analysis. Proteomic analysis of conjugated proteins by this approach identified several known geranylgeranylated proteins as well as Rap2c, a novel member of the Ras family. Furthermore, prenylation of progerin in mouse embryonic fibroblast cells was examined using this approach, demonstrating that this strategy can be used to study prenylation of specific proteins. The “GG-azide”-labeling approach provides a new tool for the detection and proteomic analysis of geranylgeranylated proteins, and it can readily be extended to other post-translational modifications.
2-D; Azide; Click chemistry; Protein geranylgeranylation; Rap2c
GPIHBP1 is an endothelial cell protein that binds lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and chylomicrons. Because GPIHBP1 deficiency causes chylomicronemia in mice, we sought to determine whether some cases of chylomicronemia in humans could be attributable to defective GPIHBP1 proteins.
Methods and Results
Patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia (n=60, with plasma triglycerides above the 95th percentile for age and gender) were screened for mutations in GPIHBP1. A homozygous GPIHBP1 mutation (c.344A>C) that changed a highly conserved glutamine at residue 115 to a proline (p.Q115P) was identified in a 33-year-old male with lifelong chylomicronemia. The patient had failure-to-thrive as a child but had no history of pancreatitis. He had no mutations in LPL, APOA5, or APOC2. The Q115P substitution did not affect the ability of GPIHBP1 to reach the cell surface. However, unlike wild-type GPIHBP1, GPIHBP1-Q115P lacked the ability to bind LPL or chylomicrons (d <1.006 g/mL lipoproteins from Gpihbp1−/− mice). Mouse GPIHBP1 with the corresponding mutation (Q114P) also could not bind LPL.
A homozygous missense mutation in GPIHBP1 (Q115P) was identified in a patient with chylomicronemia. The mutation eliminated the ability of GPIHBP1 to bind LPL and chylomicrons, strongly suggesting that it caused the patient’s chylomicronemia.
lipoprotein; lipase; human; chylomicronemia; hypertriglyceridemia; GPIHBP1
Purpose of review
This review will provide an update on the structure of GPIHBP1, a 28-kDa glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored glycoprotein, and its role in the lipolytic processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.
Gpihbp1 knockout mice on a chow diet have milky plasma and plasma triglyceride levels of more than 3000 mg/dl. GPIHBP1 is located on the luminal surface of endothelial cells in tissues where lipolysis occurs: heart, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue. The pattern of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) release into the plasma after an intravenous injection of heparin is abnormal in Gpihbp1-deficient mice, suggesting that GPIHBP1 plays a direct role in binding LPL within the tissues of mice. Transfection of CHO cells with a GPIHBP1 expression vector confers on cells the ability to bind both LPL and chylomicrons. Two regions of GPIHBP1 are required for the binding of LPL – an amino-terminal acidic domain and the cysteine-rich Ly6 domain. GPIHBP1 expression in mice changes with fasting and refeeding and is regulated in part by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ.
GPIHBP1, an endothelial cell-surface glycoprotein, binds LPL and is required for the lipolytic processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.
chylomicrons; endothelial; lipoprotein lipase; PPARγ
Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is caused by point mutations that increase utilization of an alternate splice donor site in exon 11 of LMNA (the gene encoding lamin C and prelamin A). The alternate splicing reduces transcripts for wild-type prelamin A and increases transcripts for a truncated prelamin A (progerin). Here, we show that antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) against exon 11 sequences downstream from the exon 11 splice donor site promote alternate splicing in both wild-type and HGPS fibroblasts, increasing the synthesis of progerin. Indeed, wild-type fibroblasts transfected with these ASOs exhibit progerin levels similar to (or greater than) those in fibroblasts from HGPS patients. This progerin was farnesylated, as judged by metabolic labeling studies. The synthesis of progerin in wild-type fibroblasts was accompanied by the same nuclear shape and gene-expression perturbations observed in HGPS fibroblasts. An ASO corresponding to the 5′ portion of intron 11 also promoted alternate splicing. In contrast, an ASO against exon 11 sequences 5′ to the alternate splice site reduced alternate splicing in HGPS cells and modestly lowered progerin levels. Thus, different ASOs can be used to increase or decrease ‘HGPS splicing’. ASOs represent a new and powerful tool for recreating HGPS pathophysiology in wild-type cells.