Low density lipoprotein receptor activity in homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia fibroblasts

C. F. Semenkovich, R. E. Ostlund, R. A. Levy, S. R. Osa

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12 Scopus citations


We have identified specific low affinity low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors in skin fibroblasts from two patients previously classified as having LDL receptor-negative homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FHC). K(m) and maximum capacity for cell-associated and degraded 125I-LDL were determined by two independent methods, a traditional technique in which increasing amounts of 124I-LDL were added until receptor saturation was achieved and a new technique in which the displacement of a small amount of 125I-LDL tracer was observed during the addition of variable amounts of unlabeled LDL. The K(m) for specific cell-associated 125I-LDL in FHC cells was 3.5-7.3 times that of normal cells and the maximum specific capacity was reduced to 11% of normal. Thus, some FHC cells have reduced affinity as well as reduced capacity for LDL. The FHC cell receptors share many but not all properties of the normal skin fibroblast LDL receptor. Specific degradation of bound 125I-LDL occurred concomitantly with LDL binding and was greatly reduced by the addition of chloroquine, an inhibitor of lysosomal function. Preincubation of FHC cells with cholesterol or LDL resulted in significant suppression of receptor function. Modification of lysine residues of LDL abolished receptor activity in both normal and FHC cells. Treatment of FHC cells with compactin, a cholesterol synthesis inhibitor, resulted in significant increases in specific 125I-LDL binding and degradation compared to FHC cells without compactin treatment. Normal cells also showed increases in 125I-LDL binding and degradation with compactin treatment, but the mean percentage increase in specific 125I-LDL degradation was significantly greater in FHC cells (strain GM 2000, 160 ± 18%) than in normal cells (29 ± 8%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12857-12865
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1982


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