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PloS one

Comparative studies of three cholesteryl ester transfer proteins and their interactions with known inhibitors.


PMID 28767652

Abstract

Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) is a plasma protein that mediates bidirectional transfers of cholesteryl esters and triglycerides between low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Because low levels of plasma CETP are associated with increased plasma HDL-cholesterol, therapeutic inhibition of CETP activity is considered an attractive strategy for elevating plasma HDL-cholesterol, thereby hoping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, only a few laboratory animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters, have plasma CETP activity, whereas mice and rats do not. It is not known whether all CETPs in these laboratory animals are functionally similar to human CETP. In the current study, we compared plasma CETP activity and characterized the plasma lipoprotein profiles of these animals. Furthermore, we studied the three CETP molecular structures, physicochemical characteristics, and binding properties with known CETP inhibitors in silico. Our results showed that rabbits exhibited higher CETP activity than guinea pigs and hamsters, while these animals had different lipoprotein profiles. CETP inhibitors can inhibit rabbit and hamster CETP activity in a similar manner to human CETP. Analysis of CETP molecules in silico revealed that rabbit and hamster CETP showed many features that are similar to human CETP. These results provide novel insights into understanding CETP functions and molecular properties.

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