Intracellular sterol distribution in transfected mouse L-cell fibroblasts expressing rat liver fatty acid-binding protein. Academic Article uri icon


  • The potential role of liver fatty acid binding protein (L-FABP) in modulating cellular sterol distribution was examined in mouse L-cell fibroblasts transfected with cDNA encoding L-FABP. L-cells were chosen because they contain only a small amount of endogenous FABP which does not bind [3H]cholesterol, does not enhance intermembrane sterol transfer, and whose content is unaltered by the expression of L-FABP. Transfected L-cells expressed 0.34% of cytosolic protein as L-FABP. Transfection alone with low expression of L-FABP (0.008% of cytosolic protein) had no effect on any of the parameters tested. Three aspects of cellular sterol transfer were examined. First, cellular sterol uptake, monitored by [3H]cholesterol and the fluorescent sterol, delta-5,7,9(11),22-ergostatetraen-3 beta-ol, was increased 21.5 +/- 2.6% (p less than 0.001) in L-cells expressing L-FABP. This increase was not accounted for by increased sterol esterification in the cells expressing L-FABP. Inhibition of both cholesterol transfer and esterification with 3-(decyldimethylsilyl)-N-[2-(4-methylphenyl)-1-phenylethyl]propanamide from Sandoz abolished the L-FABP related enhancement of both [3H]cholesterol uptake and esterification. Second, plasma membrane transbilayer distribution of sterol, determined by fluorescence methods indicated that the majority of sterol was in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. In transfected cells expressing L-FABP, twice as much sterol (28 +/- 4%) was present in the exofacial leaflet of the plasma membrane as compared to that of control cells (15 +/- 2%). Third, expression of L-FABP enhanced sterol transfer from the plasma membrane to microsomes in intact cells. Treatment of [3H]cholesterol or [3H]oleate-loaded cells with sphingomyelinase resulted in increased formation of radiolabeled cholesterol ester, consistent with enhanced microsomal esterification of plasma membrane derived cholesterol. Concomitantly, plasma membrane [3H]cholesterol became less accessible to oxidation by cholesterol oxidase. Sphingomyelinase-stimulated cholesterol esterification was 21 +/- 3% greater in transfected cells. Concomitantly, accessibility of plasma membrane [3H]cholesterol to cholesterol oxidase was decreased 18 +/- 3% in cells expressing L-FABP. These differences are consistent with the ability of L-FABP to influence sterol transport and plasma membrane transbilayer sterol distribution in intact cells.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Jefferson, J. R., Slotte, J. P., Nemecz, G., Pastuszyn, A., Scallen, T. J., & Schroeder, F.

citation count

  • 96

complete list of authors

  • Jefferson, JR||Slotte, JP||Nemecz, G||Pastuszyn, A||Scallen, TJ||Schroeder, F

publication date

  • March 1991