Inhibition of hepatic scavenger receptor-class B type I by RNA interference decreases atherosclerosis in rabbits.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Scavenger receptor-class B type I (SR-BI), the receptor for HDL-cholesterol, plays a key role in HDL metabolism, whole body cholesterol homeostasis, and reverse cholesterol transport. We investigated the in vivo impact of hepatic SR-BI inhibition on lipoprotein metabolism and the development of atherosclerosis employing RNA interference. METHODS: Small hairpin RNA plasmid specific for rabbit SR-BI was complexed with galactosylated poly-l-lysine, allowing an organ-selective, receptor-mediated gene transfer. Rabbits were fed a cholesterol-rich diet, and were injected with plasmid-complexes once a week. RESULTS: After 2 weeks of treatment hepatic SR-BI mRNA levels were reduced by 80% accompanied by reduced SR-BI protein levels and a modulation of the lipoprotein profile. Rabbits treated with SR-BI-specific plasmid-complexes displayed higher cholesteryl ester transfer from HDL to apoB-containing lipoproteins, lower HDL-cholesterol, and higher VLDL-cholesterol levels, when compared to controls. In a long-term study, this gene therapeutic intervention led to a similar modulation of the lipoprotein profile, to lower total cholesterol levels, and most importantly to a 50% reduction of the relative atherosclerotic lesion area. CONCLUSION: Our results are another indication that the role of SR-BI in lipoprotein metabolism and atherogenesis in rabbits--a CETP-expressing animal model displaying a manlike lipoprotein profile may be different from the one found in rodents.
Project description:The role of scavenger receptor class B, type I (SR-BI) in endothelial cells (EC) was examined in several novel transgenic mouse models expressing SR-BI in endothelium of mice with normal C57Bl6/N, apoE-KO, or Scarb1-KO backgrounds. Mice were also created expressing SR-BI exclusively in endothelium and liver. Endothelial expression of the Tie2-Scarb1 transgene had no significant effect on plasma lipoprotein levels in mice on a normal chow diet but on an atherogenic diet, significantly decreased plasma cholesterol levels, increased plasma HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, and protected mice against atherosclerosis. In 8-month-old apoE-KO mice fed a normal chow diet, the Tie2-Scarb1 transgene decreased aortic lesions by 24%. Mice expressing SR-BI only in EC and liver had a 1.5 ± 0.1-fold increase in plasma cholesterol compared to mice synthesizing SR-BI only in liver. This elevation was due mostly to increased HDL-C. In EC culture studies, SR-BI was found to be present in both basolateral and apical membranes but greater cellular uptake of cholesterol from HDL was found in the basolateral compartment. In summary, enhanced expression of SR-BI in EC resulted in a less atherogenic lipoprotein profile and decreased atherosclerosis, suggesting a possible role for endothelial SR-BI in the flux of cholesterol across EC.
Project description:In rodents, SR-BI has been firmly established as a physiologically relevant HDL receptor that mediates removal of HDL-cholesteryl esters (CE). However, its role in human lipoprotein metabolism is less defined. Recently, two unique point mutations in human SR-BI - S112F or T175A - were identified in subjects with high HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. We hypothesized that mutation of these conserved residues would compromise the cholesterol-transport functions of SR-BI. To test this hypothesis, S112F- and T175A-SR-BI were generated by site-directed mutagenesis. Cell surface expression was confirmed for both mutant receptors in COS-7 cells upon transient transfection, albeit at lower levels for T175A-SR-BI. Both mutant receptors displayed defective HDL binding, selective uptake of HDL-CE and release of free cholesterol (FC) from cells to HDL. Mutant receptors were also unable to re-organize plasma membrane pools of FC. While these impaired functions were independent of receptor oligomerization, inability of T175A-SR-BI to mediate cholesterol-transport functions could be related to altered N-linked glycosylation status. In conclusion, high HDL-C levels observed in carriers of S112F- or T175A-SR-BI mutant receptors are consistent with the inability of these SR-BI receptors to mediate efficient selective uptake of HDL-CE, and suggest that increased plasma HDL concentrations in these settings may not be associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Project description:Scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI) is the major receptor for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HDL-C). In humans, high amounts of HDL-C in plasma are associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Mice that have depleted Scarb1 (SR-BI knockout mice) have markedly elevated HDL-C levels but, paradoxically, increased atherosclerosis. The impact of SR-BI on HDL metabolism and CHD risk in humans remains unclear. Through targeted sequencing of coding regions of lipid-modifying genes in 328 individuals with extremely high plasma HDL-C levels, we identified a homozygote for a loss-of-function variant, in which leucine replaces proline 376 (P376L), in SCARB1, the gene encoding SR-BI. The P376L variant impairs posttranslational processing of SR-BI and abrogates selective HDL cholesterol uptake in transfected cells, in hepatocyte-like cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells from the homozygous subject, and in mice. Large population-based studies revealed that subjects who are heterozygous carriers of the P376L variant have significantly increased levels of plasma HDL-C. P376L carriers have a profound HDL-related phenotype and an increased risk of CHD (odds ratio = 1.79, which is statistically significant).
Project description:High-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor, scavenger receptor class B, type I (SR-BI), mediated cellular uptake of lipoprotein cholesterol controls HDL structure and plasma HDL and biliary cholesterol levels. In SR-BI knockout (KO) mice, an unusually high plasma unesterified-to-total cholesterol ratio (UC:TC) and abnormally large HDL particles apparently contribute to pathology, including female infertility, susceptibility to atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, and anemia. Here we examined the influence of SR-BI deficiency on platelets.The high plasma UC:TC ratio in SR-BI KO mice was correlated with platelet abnormalities, including high cholesterol content, abnormal morphologies, high clearance rates, and thrombocytopenia. One day after platelets from wild-type mice were infused into SR-BI KO mice, they exhibited abnormally high cholesterol content and clearance rates similar to those of endogenous platelets. Platelets from SR-BI KO mice exhibited in vitro a blunted aggregation response to the agonist ADP but a normal response to PAR4.In SR-BI KO mice abnormal circulating lipoproteins, particularly their high UC:TC ratio-rather than the absence of SR-BI in platelets themselves-induce defects in platelet structure and clearance, together with a mild defect in function.
Project description:To investigate the mechanisms by which macrophage scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI) regulates macrophage cholesterol homeostasis and protects against atherosclerosis.The expression and function of SR-BI was investigated in cultured mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM). SR-BI, the other scavenger receptors SRA and CD36 and the ATP-binding cassette transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 were each distinctly regulated during BMM differentiation. SR-BI levels increased transiently to significant levels during culture. SR-BI expression in BMM was reversibly down-regulated by lipid loading with modified LDL; SR-BI was shown to be present both on the cell surface as well as intracellularly. BMM exhibited selective HDL CE uptake, however, this was not dependent on SR-BI or another potential candidate glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchored high density lipoprotein binding protein 1 (GPIHBP1). SR-BI played a significant role in facilitating bidirectional cholesterol flux in non lipid-loaded cells. SR-BI expression enhanced both cell cholesterol efflux and cholesterol influx from HDL, but did not lead to altered cellular cholesterol mass. SR-BI-dependent efflux occurred to larger HDL particles but not to smaller HDL(3). Following cholesterol loading, ABCA1 and ABCG1 were up-regulated and served as the major contributors to cholesterol efflux, while SR-BI expression was down-regulated.Our results suggest that SR-BI plays a significant role in macrophage cholesterol flux that may partly account for its effects on atherogenesis.
Project description:High density lipoprotein cholesterol is thought to represent a preferred source of sterols secreted into bile following hepatic uptake by scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI). The present study aimed to determine the metabolic effects of an endothelial lipase (EL)-mediated stimulation of HDL cholesterol uptake on liver lipid metabolism and biliary cholesterol secretion in wild-type, SR-BI knockout, and SR-BI overexpressing mice. In each model, injection of an EL expressing adenovirus decreased plasma HDL cholesterol (P < 0.001) whereas hepatic cholesterol content increased (P < 0.05), translating into decreased expression of sterol-regulatory element binding protein 2 (SREBP2) and its target genes HMG-CoA reductase and LDL receptor (each P < 0.01). Biliary cholesterol secretion was dependent on hepatic SR-BI expression, being decreased in SR-BI knockouts (P < 0.001) and increased following hepatic SR-BI overexpression (P < 0.001). However, in each model, biliary secretion of cholesterol, bile acids, and phospholipids as well as fecal bile acid and neutral sterol content, remained unchanged in response to EL overexpression. Importantly, hepatic ABCG5/G8 expression did not correlate with biliary cholesterol secretion rates under these conditions. These results demonstrate that an acute decrease of plasma HDL cholesterol levels by overexpressing EL increases hepatic cholesterol content but leaves biliary sterol secretion unaltered. Instead, biliary cholesterol secretion rates are related to the hepatic expression level of SR-BI. These data stress the importance of SR-BI for biliary cholesterol secretion and might have relevance for concepts of reverse cholesterol transport.
Project description:The interaction of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) with its receptor, scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI), is critical for lowering plasma cholesterol levels and reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. The HDL/SR-BI complex facilitates delivery of cholesterol into cells and is likely mediated by receptor dimerization. This work describes the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to generate the first high-resolution structure of the C-terminal transmembrane domain of SR-BI. This region of SR-BI harbors a leucine zipper dimerization motif, which when mutated impairs the ability of the receptor to bind HDL and mediate cholesterol delivery. These losses in function correlate with the inability of SR-BI to form dimers. We also identify juxtamembrane regions of the extracellular domain of SR-BI that may interact with the lipid surface to facilitate cholesterol transport functions of the receptor.
Project description:For proper cholesterol metabolism, normal expression and function of scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor, is required. Among the factors that regulate overall cholesterol homeostasis and HDL metabolism, the nuclear farnesoid X receptor plays an important role. Guggulsterone, a bioactive compound present in the natural product gugulipid, is an antagonist of this receptor. This natural product is widely used globally as a natural lipid-lowering agent, although its anti-atherogenic cardiovascular benefit in animal models or humans is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of gugulipid on cholesterol homeostasis and development of mild and severe atherosclerosis in male mice. For this purpose, we evaluated the impact of gugulipid treatment on liver histology, plasma lipoprotein cholesterol, endothelial function, and development of atherosclerosis and/or ischemic heart disease in wild-type mice; apolipoprotein E knockout mice, a model of atherosclerosis without ischemic complications; and SR-B1 knockout and atherogenic-diet-fed apolipoprotein E hypomorphic (SR-BI KO/ApoER61h/h) mice, a model of lethal ischemic heart disease due to severe atherosclerosis. Gugulipid administration was associated with histological abnormalities in liver, increased alanine aminotransferase levels, lower hepatic SR-BI content, hypercholesterolemia due to increased HDL cholesterol levels, endothelial dysfunction, enhanced atherosclerosis, and accelerated death in animals with severe ischemic heart disease. In conclusion, our data show important adverse effects of gugulipid intake on HDL metabolism and atherosclerosis in male mice, suggesting potential and unknown deleterious effects on cardiovascular health in humans. In addition, these findings reemphasize the need for rigorous preclinical and clinical studies to provide guidance on the consumption of natural products and regulation of their use in the general population.
Project description:Scavenger receptor SR-BI has been implicated in HDL-dependent atheroprotective mechanisms. We report the generation of an SR-BI conditional knockout mouse model in which SR-BI gene targeting by loxP site insertion produced a hypomorphic allele (hypomSR-BI). Attenuated SR-BI expression in hypomSR-BI mice resulted in 2-fold elevation in plasma total cholesterol (TC) levels. Cre-mediated SR-BI gene inactivation of the hypomorphic SR-BI allele in hepatocytes (hypomSR-BI-KO(liver)) was associated with high plasma TC concentrations, increased plasma free cholesterol/TC (FC/TC) ratio, and a lipoprotein-cholesterol profile typical of SR-BI-/- mice. Plasma TC levels were increased 2-fold in hypomSR-BI and control mice fed an atherogenic diet, whereas hypomSR-BI-KO(liver) and SR-BI-/- mice developed severe hypercholesterolemia due to accumulation of FC-rich, VLDL-sized particles. Atherosclerosis in hypomSR-BI mice was enhanced (2.5-fold) compared with that in controls, but to a much lower degree than in hypomSR-BI-KO(liver) (32-fold) and SR-BI-/- (48-fold) mice. The latter models did not differ in either plasma lipid levels or in the capacity of VLDL-sized lipoproteins to induce macrophage cholesterol loading. However, reduced atherosclerosis in hypomSR-BI-KO(liver) mice was associated with decreased lesional macrophage content as compared with that in SR-BI-/- mice. These data imply that, in addition to its major atheroprotective role in liver, SR-BI may exert an antiatherogenic role in extrahepatic tissues.
Project description:ApoE plays an important role in lipoprotein metabolism. This study investigated the effects of adenovirus-mediated human apoE overexpression (AdhApoE3) on sterol metabolism and in vivo reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). In wild-type mice, AdhApoE3 resulted in decreased HDL cholesterol levels and a shift toward larger HDL in plasma, whereas hepatic cholesterol content increased (P < 0.05). These effects were dependent on scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) as confirmed using SR-BI-deficient mice. Kinetic studies demonstrated increased plasma HDL cholesteryl ester catabolic rates (P < 0.05) and higher hepatic selective uptake of HDL cholesteryl esters in AdhApoE3-injected wild-type mice (P < 0.01). However, biliary and fecal sterol output as well as in vivo macrophage-to-feces RCT studied with (3)H-cholesterol-loaded mouse macrophage foam cells remained unchanged upon human apoE overexpression. Similar results were obtained using hApoE3 overexpression in human CETP transgenic mice. However, blocking ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux from hepatocytes in AdhApoE3-injected mice using probucol increased biliary cholesterol secretion (P < 0.05), fecal neutral sterol excretion (P < 0.05), and in vivo RCT (P < 0.01), specifically within neutral sterols. These combined data demonstrate that systemic apoE overexpression increases i) SR-BI-mediated selective uptake into the liver and ii) ABCA1-mediated efflux of RCT-relevant cholesterol from hepatocytes back to the plasma compartment, thereby resulting in unchanged fecal mass sterol excretion and overall in vivo RCT.