In vivo stable-isotope kinetic study suggests intracellular assembly of lipoprotein(a)

Atherosclerosis. 2012 Dec;225(2):322-7. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.09.031. Epub 2012 Oct 5.


Objective: Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] consists of apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100) as part of an LDL-like particle and the covalently linked glycoprotein apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)]. Detailed mechanisms of its biosynthesis, assembly, secretion and catabolism are still poorly understood. To address the Lp(a) assembly mechanism, we studied the in vivo kinetics of apo(a) and apoB-100 from Lp(a) and LDL apoB-100 in nine healthy probands using stable-isotope methodology.

Methods: The level of isotope enrichment was used to calculate the fractional synthesis rate (FSR), production rate (PR) and retention time (RT) using SAAMII software and multicompartmental modeling.

Results: We observed a similar mean PR for apo(a) (1.15 nmol/kg/d) and apoB-100 (1.31 nmol/kg/d) from Lp(a), which differed significantly from the PR for apoB-100 from LDL (32.6 nmol/kg/d). Accordingly, mean FSR and RT values for Lp(a)-apo(a) were similar to those of Lp(a)-apoB and different from those for LDL-apoB.

Conclusion: Two different kinetic apoB pools within Lp(a) and LDL suggest intracellular Lp(a) assembly from apo(a) and newly synthesized LDL.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apolipoprotein B-100 / blood
  • Apolipoproteins A / blood
  • Deuterium
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Kinetics
  • Leucine / administration & dosage
  • Lipoprotein(a) / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Young Adult


  • Apolipoprotein B-100
  • Apolipoproteins A
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Deuterium
  • Leucine