Disruption of LDL receptor gene in transgenic SREBP-1a mice unmasks hyperlipidemia resulting from production of lipid-rich VLDL

J Clin Invest. 1999 Apr;103(7):1067-76. doi: 10.1172/JCI6246.


Transgenic mice that overexpress the nuclear form of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1a (SREBP-1a) in liver (TgBP-1a mice) were shown previously to overproduce cholesterol and fatty acids and to accumulate massive amounts of cholesterol and triglycerides in hepatocytes. Despite the hepatic overproduction of lipids, the plasma levels of cholesterol ( approximately 45 mg/dl) and triglycerides ( approximately 55 mg/dl) were not elevated, perhaps owing to degradation of lipid-enriched particles by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors. To test this hypothesis, in the current studies we bred TgBP-1a mice with LDL receptor knockout mice. As reported previously, LDLR-/- mice manifested a moderate elevation in plasma cholesterol ( approximately 215 mg/dl) and triglycerides ( approximately 155 mg/dl). In contrast, the doubly mutant TgBP-1a;LDLR-/- mice exhibited marked increases in plasma cholesterol ( approximately 1,050 mg/dl) and triglycerides ( approximately 900 mg/dl). These lipids were contained predominantly within large very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles that were relatively enriched in cholesterol and apolipoprotein E. Freshly isolated hepatocytes from TgBP-1a and TgBP-1a;LDLR-/- mice overproduced cholesterol and fatty acids and secreted increased amounts of these lipids into the medium. Electron micrographs of livers from TgBP-1a mice showed large amounts of enlarged lipoproteins within the secretory pathway. We conclude that the TgBP-1a mice produce large lipid-rich lipoproteins, but these particles do not accumulate in plasma because they are degraded through the action of LDL receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins / blood
  • Apolipoproteins E / blood
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Hyperlipidemias / genetics*
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / blood*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Particle Size
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, LDL / genetics*
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Lipoproteins
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, LDL
  • Srebf1 protein, mouse
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1
  • Transcription Factors
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol