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Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology

Circulating proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 has a diurnal rhythm synchronous with cholesterol synthesis and is reduced by fasting in humans.


PMID 20884874

Abstract

To gain insight into the function of proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) in humans by establishing whether circulating levels are influenced by diurnal, dietary, and hormonal changes. We monitored circulating PCSK9 in a set of dynamic human experiments and could show that serum PCSK9 levels display a diurnal rhythm that closely parallels that of cholesterol synthesis, measured as serum lathosterol. In contrast to these marked diurnal changes in cholesterol metabolism, serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels remained stable during the diurnal cycle. Depletion of liver cholesterol by treatment with the bile acid-binding resin, cholestyramine, abolished the diurnal rhythms of both PCSK9 and lathosterol. Fasting (>18 hours) strongly reduced circulating PCSK9 and lathosterol levels, whereas serum LDL levels remained unchanged. Growth hormone, known to be increased during fasting in humans, reduced circulating PCSK9 in parallel to LDL cholesterol levels. Throughout the day, and in response to fasting and cholesterol depletion, circulating PCSK9 displays marked variation, presumably related to oscillations in hepatic cholesterol that modify its activity in parallel with cholesterol synthesis. In addition to this sterol-mediated regulation, additional effects on LDL receptors may be mediated by hormones directly influencing PCSK9.

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