Angiopoietin-like protein 3 (ANGPTL3) is a hepatically secreted protein and therapeutic target for reducing plasma triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Although ANGPTL3 modulates the metabolism of circulating lipoproteins, its role in triglyceride-rich lipoprotein assembly and secretion remains unknown. CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) was used to target ANGPTL3 in HepG2 cells (ANGPTL3/) whereupon we observed ∼50% reduction of apolipoprotein B100 (ApoB100) secretion, accompanied by an increase in ApoB100 early presecretory degradation via a predominantly lysosomal mechanism. Despite defective particle secretion in ANGPTL3/ cells, targeted lipidomic analysis did not reveal neutral lipid accumulation in ANGPTL3/ cells; rather ANGPTL3/ cells demonstrated decreased secretion of newly synthesized triglycerides and increased fatty acid oxidation. Furthermore, RNA sequencing demonstrated significantly altered expression of key lipid metabolism genes, including targets of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α, consistent with decreased lipid anabolism and increased lipid catabolism. In contrast, CRISPR/Cas9 LDL receptor (LDLR) deletion in ANGPTL3/ cells did not result in a secretion defect at baseline, but proteasomal inhibition strongly induced compensatory late presecretory degradation of ApoB100 and impaired its secretion. Additionally, these ANGPTL3/;LDLR/ cells rescued the deficient LDL clearance of LDLR/ cells. In summary, ANGPTL3 deficiency in the presence of functional LDLR leads to the production of fewer lipoprotein particles due to early presecretory defects in particle assembly that are associated with adaptive changes in intrahepatic lipid metabolism. In contrast, when LDLR is absent, ANGPTL3 deficiency is associated with late presecretory regulation of ApoB100 degradation without impaired secretion. Our findings therefore suggest an unanticipated intrahepatic role for ANGPTL3, whose function varies with LDLR status.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100500
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • LDL/metabolism
  • PPARs
  • VLDL
  • apolipoproteins
  • dyslipidemias
  • lipase/endothelial
  • triglycerides


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