Apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) is the main functional protein component of human high-density lipoproteins. ApoA-I shows various anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective properties toward macrophages; however, endogenous apoA-I expression has not been investigated in macrophages. We have shown that endogenous apoA-I gene is expressed in human macrophages at both mRNA and protein levels. Endogenous ApoA-I is localized in intracellular vesicles and at the external side of the plasma membrane in association with ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and lipid rafts in macrophages. We have shown that endogenous ApoA-I stabilizes ABCA1, moreover, down-regulation of ApoA-I by siRNA results in an increase of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mRNA and membrane surface protein expression, as well as an enhancement of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced expression of tumor necrosis factor-- (TNF-α), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) genes in human macrophages. TNF-α stimulates ApoA-I expression and secretion (1.2±0.2 vs. 4.3±0.9 ng/mg total protein) in macrophages. Obtained results suggest that endogenous ApoA-I has anti-inflammatory properties, presumably due to ABCA1 stabilization in macrophages; these results elucidate the cell type-specific mechanism of the TNF-α-mediated regulation of apoA-I gene expression in monocytes and macrophages.
- Lipid rafts