3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase in cultured hepatocytes

Regulation by Heterologous Lipoproteins and Hormones
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      Regulation of the key enzyme of cholesterol synthesis, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase (EC:, by heterologous human lipoproteins and hormones was studied in a maintenance culture of rat hepatocytes. The liver cells were cultured under hormone and serum free conditions and maintained differentiated morphology and specific function.
      Under control conditions total HMG-CoA reductase increased by 50% after 24 h culture compared to 0 h values immediately after isolation. Thereafter a plateau of enzyme activity was reached lasting until 48 h, with a slight decline at 72 h. Concomitantly the “expressed” enzyme activity increased steadily, probably through dephosphorylation of latent reductase, the activation was largely complete at 48 h.
      During the steady state period of total reductase VLDL added to the medium at concentrations up to 50 μg/ml protein had no effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity. In contrast, LDL suppressed the enzyme in a dose-dependent fashion to 40% of controls at 100 μg/ml. On the other hand, HDL had the opposite effect with a significant induction up to 252% of controls at 50 μg/ml. Insulin also caused a comparable dose-dependent stimulation of enzyme activity at 10−8 and 10−7 M, whereas glucagon inhibited reductase activity. Compared to the insulin action, triiodothyronine and triamcinolone prompted a minor, but still significant increase of reductase activity. Insulin and triamcinolone acted synergistically, but the combination of triamcinolone and triiodothyronine was only additive. All hormonal inductions of reductase could be blocked by cycloheximide.
      The present data establish that HMG-CoA reductase of maintenance cultured hepatocytes is subject to a complex regulation by heterologous lipoproteins as well as pancreatic, adrenal and thyroid hormones.



      HMG-CoA reductase: 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase (), VLDL: Very low density lipoproteins (d: < 1.006 g/ml) (), LDL: Low density lipoproteins (d: 1.019-1.063 g/ml) (), HDL: High density lipoproteins (d: 1.063–1.210 g/ml) ()
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