Effect of reduced low-density lipoprotein receptor level on HepG2 cell cholesterol metabolism.
Izem L. Rassart E. Kamate L. Falstrault L. Rhainds D. Brissette L.
Departement des Sciences Biologiques, Universite du Quebec a Montreal, C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3P8.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are taken up by both LDL receptor (LDLr)-dependent and -independent pathways. In order to determine the importance of these pathways in the activity of the various enzymes that are important in maintaining the cellular cholesterol level in hepatic cells, we created HepG2 cells expressing lower levels of LDLr. Thus HepG2 cells were transfected with a constitutive expression vector (pRc/CMV) containing a fragment of LDLr cDNA inserted in an antisense manner. Stable transformants were obtained that showed significant reductions of 42, 72 and 85% of LDLr protein levels compared with the control, as demonstrated by immunoblotting and confirmed by the LDL binding assay. The best inactivation was achieved with the construct containing the first 0.7 kb of LDLr cDNA. Incubating the different HepG2 cell subtypes with LDL showed similar association of apolipoprotein B (apo B) or cholesteryl esters from LDL with the cells, indicating that the LDLr deficiency did not significantly affect LDL uptake by the cell. However, apoB degradation was reduced significantly by 71-82% in the most LDLr-deficient HepG2 cells. We also found that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCoA red) activity is significantly increased by 32-35% in HepG2 cells expressing very low levels of LDLr that also demonstrate a significant decrease of 20% in acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) activity. However, these effects are moderate compared with those observed when cells were incubated in lipoprotein-depleted medium, where a >900% increase in HMGCoA red activity and a loss of 60% of ACAT activity was observed. Thus, in HepG2 cells, different levels of LDLr affect LDL-apoB degradation, but have very little effect on LDL association, HMGCoA red and ACAT activities, revealing that LDLr is more important in the clearance of LDL-apoB than in HepG2 cell cholesterol homoeostasis, a role that should be attributable to both LDLr-dependent and -independent pathways.
Expression of v-src in mammary epithelial cells induces transcription via STAT3.
Smith PD. Crompton MR.
Cell Biology and Experimental Pathology, Haddow Laboratories, Institute of Cancer Research, 15 Cotswold Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5NG, U.K. firstname.lastname@example.org
Transgenic mouse models of mammary tumorigenesis and analyses of human breast tumour samples have indicated a role for Src proteins in the tumorigenic process. The downstream effectors of Src function in mammary epithelial cells are less well understood. STAT proteins constitute a family of transcription factors whose activation by cytokine and non-cytokine receptors leads to tyrosine phosphorylation, dimerization and translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. In the nucleus they activate the transcription of specific genes by binding to consensus DNA elements. STATs 1 and 3 can be activated by both cytokine and non-cytokine receptors, and bind as homodimers or heterodimers to viral simian sarcoma virus (sis)-inducible elements such as that found in the c-fos promoter. Here we report that one of the downstream effectors of Src function in mammary epithelial cells is STAT3. We demonstrate that v-src expression in mammary epithelial cells induces Tyr-705 phosphorylation, nuclear translocation and DNA binding of STAT3. Furthermore, we demonstrate that v-src can induce STAT3-dependent transcription. These observations are the first direct evidence that v-src can regulate transcription through the activation of STAT proteins, and add a further level of complexity to the understanding of the mode of action of v-src.
Metabolism and apoptotic properties of elevated ceramide in HT29rev cells.
Veldman RJ. Klappe K. Hoekstra D. Kok JW.
Department of Physiological Chemistry, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Ceramide (Cer) has been implicated in the regulation of apoptosis. In this study, we elevated cellular Cer levels in human colon-carcinoma (HT29(rev)) cells by incubating the cells in the presence of bacterial sphingomyelinase (bSMase) or, alternatively, in the presence of C2-Cer, a short-chain analogue of the sphingolipid. bSMase treatment did not induce apoptosis in these cells, as revealed by a lack of both DNA fragmentation and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase. In contrast, apoptosis did occur upon addition of C2-Cer. These findings led us to study whether differences in the metabolic fate of the excess of Cer, as generated by both treatments, contributed to the observed difference in apoptosis-inducing capacity. C2-Cer was rapidly taken up by HT29(rev) cells and accumulated due to the absence of substantial metabolic conversion. Upon addition of bSMase, hydrolysis of sphingomyelin resulted in a reduction of that pool to 20% compared with control values, accompanied by a multi-fold increase in Cer level. In spite of the continuous presence of active bSMase, the Cer increase turned out to be transient. Cer levels reached their maximum 1-2 h after addition of bSMase, followed by a significant decrease. Excessive Cer was mainly turned over via cerebrosides into complex glycolipids, including gangliosides. In the presence of glucosylceramide synthase- and/or ceramidase inhibitors, this conversion was significantly blocked and bSMase-generated Cer accumulated in the cells. However, even under these conditions apoptosis did not occur. In conclusion, the inability of bSMase to induce apoptosis of HT29(rev) cells does not appear to be due to rapid metabolic conversion of excessive Cer. Since apoptosis is induced upon addition of C2-Cer, we therefore propose that the intracellular target involved in the propagation of the apoptotic signal is reached by C2-Cer, but not by bSMase-generated Cer.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL3)-associated alpha-tocopherol is taken up by HepG2 cells via the selective uptake pathway and resecreted with endogenously synthesized apo-lipoprotein B-rich lipoprotein particles.
Goti D. Reicher H. Malle E. Kostner GM. Panzenboeck U. Sattler W.
Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Graz, Harrachgasse 21, 8010 Graz, Austria.
alpha-Tocopherol (alphaTocH) is transported in association with lipoproteins in the aqueous milieu of the plasma. Although up to 50% of circulating alphaTocH is transported by high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), little is known about the mechanisms of uptake of HDL-associated alphaTocH. During the current study, human apolipoprotein (apo)E-free HDL subclass 3 (HDL3) labelled with [14C]alphaTocH was used to investigate uptake mechanisms of HDL3-associated alphaTocH by a permanent hepatoblastoma cell line (HepG2). HDL3-associated alphaTocH was taken up independently of HDL3 holoparticles in excess of apoA-I comparable with the non-endocytotic delivery of cholesteryl esters to cells termed the 'selective' cholesteryl ester uptake pathway. Experiments with unlabelled HDL3 demonstrated net mass transfer of alphaTocH to HepG2 cells. Time-dependent studies with [14C]alphaTocH-labelled HDL3 revealed tracer uptake in 80-fold excess of apoA-I and in 4-fold excess of cholesteryl linoleate. In addition to HLDs, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-associated alphaTocH was also taken up in excess of holoparticles, although to a lesser extent. These findings were confirmed with unlabelled lipoprotein preparations, in which HDL3 displayed a 2- to 3-fold higher alphaTocH donor efficiency than LDLs (lipoproteins adjusted for equal amounts of alphaTocH). An important factor affecting particle-independent uptake of alphaTocH was the cellular cholesterol content (a 2-fold increase in cellular cholesterol levels resulted in a 2.3-fold decrease in uptake). Pulse-chase studies demonstrated that some of the HDL3-associated alphaTocH taken up independently of holoparticle uptake was resecreted along with a newly synthesized apoB-containing lipoprotein fraction.