Novel function of Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 as a negative regulator of Niemann-Pick C2 protein.
ABSTRACT The hepatic expression of Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 (NPC1L1), which is a key molecule in intestinal cholesterol absorption, is high in humans. In addition to NPC1L1, Niemann-Pick C2 (NPC2), a secretory cholesterol-binding protein involved in intracellular cholesterol trafficking and the stimulation of biliary cholesterol secretion, is also expressed in the liver. In this study, we examined the molecular interaction and functional association between NPC1L1 and NPC2. In vitro studies with adenovirus-based or plasmid-mediated gene transfer systems revealed that NPC1L1 negatively regulated the protein expression and secretion of NPC2 without affecting the level of NPC2 messenger RNA. Experiments with small interfering RNA against NPC1L1 confirmed the endogenous association of these proteins. In addition, endocytosed NPC2 could compensate for the reduction of NPC2 in NPC1L1-overexpressing cells, and this demonstrated that the posttranscriptional regulation of NPC2 was dependent on a novel ability of NPC1L1 to inhibit the maturation of NPC2 and accelerate the degradation of NPC2 during its maturation. Furthermore, to confirm the physiological relevance of NPC1L1-mediated regulation, we analyzed human liver specimens and found a negative correlation between the protein levels of hepatic NPC1L1 and hepatic NPC2. CONCLUSION: NPC1L1 down-regulates the expression and secretion of NPC2 by inhibiting its maturation and accelerating its degradation. NPC2 functions as a regulator of intracellular cholesterol trafficking and biliary cholesterol secretion; therefore, in addition to its role in cholesterol re-uptake from the bile by hepatocytes, hepatic NPC1L1 may control cholesterol homeostasis via the down-regulation of NPC2.
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ABSTRACT: Emerging experimental and human evidence has linked altered hepatic cholesterol homeostasis and free cholesterol (FC) accumulation to the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatits (NASH). This review focuses on cellular mechanisms of cholesterol toxicity involved in liver injury and on alterations in cholesterol homeostasis promoting hepatic cholesterol overload in NASH. FC accumulation injures hepatocytes directly, by disrupting mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane integrity, triggering mitochondrial oxidative injury and ER stress, and by promoting generation of toxic oxysterols, and indirectly, by inducing adipose tissue dysfunction. Accumulation of oxidized LDL particles may also activate Kupffer and hepatic stellate cells, promoting liver inflammation and fibrogenesis. Hepatic cholesterol accumulation is driven by a deeply deranged cellular cholesterol homeostasis, characterized by elevated cholesterol synthesis and uptake from circulating lipoproteins and by a reduced cholesterol excretion. Extensive dysregulation of cellular cholesterol homeostasis by nuclear transcription factors sterol regulatory binding protein(SREBP)-2, liver X-receptor(LXR)-α and farnesoid X receptor(FXR) plays a key role in hepatic cholesterol accumulation in NASH. The therapeutic implications and opportunities for normalizing cellular cholesterol homeostasis in these patients are also discussed.Progress in lipid research 11/2012; · 10.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We recently reported that lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) knock-out mice, particularly in the LDL receptor knock-out background, are hypersensitive to insulin and resistant to high fat diet-induced insulin resistance (IR) and obesity. We demonstrated that chow-fed Ldlr-/-xLcat+/+ mice have elevated hepatic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which promotes IR, compared with wild-type controls, and this effect is normalized in Ldlr-/-xLcat-/- mice. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that hepatic ER cholesterol metabolism differentially regulates ER stress using these models. We observed that the Ldlr-/-xLcat+/+ mice accumulate excess hepatic total and ER cholesterol primarily attributed to increased reuptake of biliary cholesterol as we observed reduced biliary cholesterol in conjunction with decreased hepatic Abcg5/g8 mRNA, increased Npc1l1 mRNA, and decreased Hmgr mRNA and nuclear SREBP2 protein. Intestinal NPC1L1 protein was induced. Expression of these genes was reversed in the Ldlr-/-xLcat-/- mice, accounting for the normalization of total and ER cholesterol and ER stress. Upon feeding a 2% high cholesterol diet (HCD), Ldlr-/-xLcat-/- mice accumulated a similar amount of total hepatic cholesterol compared with the Ldlr-/-xLcat+/+ mice, but the hepatic ER cholesterol levels remained low in conjunction with being protected from HCD-induced ER stress and IR. Hepatic ER stress correlates strongly with hepatic ER free cholesterol but poorly with hepatic tissue free cholesterol. The unexpectedly low ER cholesterol seen in HCD-fed Ldlr-/-xLcat-/- mice was attributable to a coordinated marked up-regulation of ACAT2 and suppressed SREBP2 processing. Thus, factors influencing the accumulation of ER cholesterol may be important for the development of hepatic insulin resistance.Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2012; 287(24):20755-68. · 4.65 Impact Factor
- Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2012; 287:20755-20768. · 4.65 Impact Factor