A plasma membrane pool of cholesteryl esters that may mediate the selective uptake of cholesteryl esters from high-density lipoproteins

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1989 Apr 26;1002(3):365-75. doi: 10.1016/0005-2760(89)90351-2.


Selective uptake of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesteryl esters without parallel uptake of HDL particles occurs by a nonendocytotic pathway that requires no specific apolipoprotein and results in the net delivery of cholesteryl esters to cells. Here we examine a reversibly cell-associated pool of cholesteryl ester tracer and its relationship to selective uptake. A fraction of cholesteryl ester tracer selectively taken up from HDL by rat primary or mouse Y1-BS1 adrenocortical cells was chased from the cells by subsequent incubation with unlabeled HDL. This pool of cholesteryl ester tracer was distinct from that irreversibly internalized, and in excess of that accounted for by dissociation of labeled HDL particles bound to the cell surface. In response to various metabolic effectors, cholesteryl ester tracer in this reversibly cell-associated pool of Y1-BS1 cells correlated linearly with irreversible selective uptake. Both reversibly and irreversibly cell-associated pools of cholesteryl ester tracer displayed similar saturation kinetics for uptake from HDL, and both pools correlated inversely with cell-free cholesterol levels. Cholesteryl ester tracer in the reversible pool was shown to serve as a precursor for irreversible selective uptake. A pool with properties similar to the reversibly cell-associated pool was identified in plasma membrane fractions; enough tracer was incorporated into this pool to account for the reversibly cell-associated pool of intact cells. The data suggest that a pool of cholesteryl esters in the plasma membrane is involved in selective uptake at a step prior to irreversible internalization.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cholesterol Esters / metabolism*
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / metabolism*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Oleic Acid
  • Oleic Acids / metabolism
  • Rats


  • Cholesterol Esters
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Oleic Acids
  • Oleic Acid
  • Cycloheximide