Properties of acid and neutral cholesterol ester hydrolases in rat and pigeon aortas

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      The activity of cholesterol ester hydrolase was measured in subcellular fractions from rat and pigeon aortas using a glycerol-dispersed cholesterol oleate substrate preparation. The specific activity of acid cholesterol ester hydrolase (assayed at pH 5) in adventitia tissue fractions was 40–50 fold greater than in media-intima fractions from rat aorta. Soluble and particulate subcellular fractions from rat aorta (media-intima) were observed to have cholesterol ester hydrolase activity with both an acid (pH 4.5–5) and a neutral (pH 7.5) pH optimum. A comparison of the subcellular distribution of acid cholesterol ester hydrolase with the lysosomal marker enzyme, N-acetylglucosaminidase, suggests that the acid hydrolase activity originated in aortic lysosomes; the neutral cholesterol ester hydrolase was predominantly soluble. Acid and neutral cholesterol ester hydrolases could also be distinguished on the basis of the effects of MgCl2 and NaCl on hydrolase activity and on rates of thermal denaturation. Both acid and neutral hydrolases from rat aorta (media-intima) were inhibited by chloroquine (half-maximal at 2–4 mM), and both hydrolases were characterized as having the same apparent affinity for the glycerol-dispersed cholesterol oleate substrate. Acid and neutral cholesterol ester hydrolases were also observed in preparations from pigeon aortas. The specific activity for both acid and neutral hydrolases was higher in atherosclerosis-susceptible White Carneau pigeon aortas in comparison to Show Racer pigeon aortas.


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