Intestinal apolipoprotein B (apoB) mRNA undergoes C-to-U editing, mediated by the catalytic deaminase apobec-1, which results in translation of apoB48. Apobec1-/-mice produce only apoB100 and secrete larger chylomicron particles than those observed in wild-type (WT) mice. Here we show that transgenic rescue of intestinal apobec-1 expression (Apobec1Int/O) restores C-to-U RNA editing of apoB mRNA in vivo, including the canonical site at position 6666 and also at approximately 20 other newly identified downstream sites present in WT mice. The small intestine of Apobec1Int/O mice produces only apoB48, and the liver produces only apoB100. Serum chylomicron particles were smaller in Apobec1Int/O mice compared with those from Apobec1-/- mice, and the predominant fraction of serum apoB48 in Apobec1Int/O mice migrated in lipoproteins smaller than chylomicrons, even when these mice were fed a highfat diet. Because apoB48 arises exclusively from the intestine in Apobec1Int/O mice and intestinal apoB48 synthesis and secretion rates were comparable to WT mice, we were able to infer the major sites of origin of serum apoB48 in WT mice. Our findings imply that less than 25% of serum apoB48 in WT mice arises from the intestine, with the majority originating from the liver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2643-2655
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • ApoB48
  • Cytidine deaminase
  • Hyperediting
  • Lipoprotein assembly
  • RNA binding


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