The Journal of biological chemistry

The triple threat to nascent apolipoprotein B. Evidence for multiple, distinct degradative pathways.

PMID 11285257


We previously showed that Omega-3 fatty acids reduce secretion of apolipoprotein B (apoB) from cultured hepatocytes by stimulating post-translational degradation. In this report, we now characterize this process, particularly in regard to the two known processes that degrade newly synthesized apoB, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation and re-uptake from the cell surface. First, we found that Omega-3-induced degradation preferentially reduces the secretion of large, assembled apoB-lipoprotein particles, and apoB polypeptide length is not a determinant. Second, based on several experimental approaches, ER-associated degradation is not involved. Third, re-uptake, the only process known to destroy fully assembled nascent lipoproteins, was clearly active in primary hepatocytes, but Omega-3-induced degradation of apoB continued even when re-uptake was blocked. Cell fractionation showed that Omega-3 fatty acids induced a striking loss of apoB100 from the Golgi, while sparing apoB100 in the ER, indicating a post-ER process. To determine the signaling involved, we used wortmannin, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, which blocked most, if not all, of the Omega-3 fatty acid effect. Therefore, nascent apoB is subject to ER-associated degradation, re-uptake, and a third distinct degradative pathway that appears to target lipoproteins after considerable assembly and involves a post-ER compartment and PI3K signaling. Physiologic, pathophysiologic, and pharmacologic regulation of net apoB secretion may involve alterations in any of these three degradative steps.

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