Scavenger receptor type BI potentiates reverse cholesterol transport system by removing cholesterol ester from HDL


      High-density lipoprotein (HDL) plays an important role in reverse cholesterol transport by removing accumulated cholesterol from extrahepatic tissues. Subsequently, cholesterol ester (CE) on HDL in humans is transported to apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins by cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). CETP deficiency, which is common in the Japanese population, leads to a marked increase in HDL-cholesterol levels due to impaired CE transport from HDL to LDL. It has been reported that the HDL observed in CETP deficiency is an atherogenic lipoprotein, as it contains a large amount of CE. Scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) has been found to be an authentic HDL receptor that mediates the selective uptake of HDL CE and the bi-directional transfer of free cholesterol between HDL and cells. In the present study, the interaction between SR-BI and CE-rich HDL from CETP-deficient patient was studied in order to evaluate the anti-atherosclerotic role of SR-BI in relation to CE uptake and reverse cholesterol transport. When CE-rich HDL was added to the medium of SR-BI-transfected CHO (SR-BI CHO) cells, more CE accumulated in SR-BI CHO cells compared to control HDL. In contrast, the amount of cholesterol efflux from SR-BI CHO cells into HDL was almost the same between the two HDLs. Therefore, when CE-rich HDL was added to the medium of SR-BI CHO cells, the intracellular CE content increased significantly. Moreover, the particle size of HDL in CETP-deficient patient decreased significantly when the HDL was added to the medium of SR-BI CHO cells, and this HDL showed an increment of CE efflux from foam cells. These results indicate that SR-BI reduces the cholesterol content and size of the CE-rich HDL from CETP deficiency, which ultimately activate reverse cholesterol transport system.


      apo (apolipoprotein), CE (cholesterol ester), CETP (cholesteryl ester transfer protein), LCAT (lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase), LPDS (lipoprotein-deficient serum), SR-BI (scavenger receptor class B type I)


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