Scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SR-B1) plays an essential role in high density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism. SR-B1 deficient (SR-B1 KO) mice are prone to atherosclerosis and exhibit abnormally large, cholesterol-rich, dysfunctional HDL. In a recent issue of J Transl Med, Cao et al. described results of proteomics analyses of HDL isolated from wild-type (WT) and SR-B1 KO mice using precipitation of large lipoproteins with polyethylene glycol (PEG). They report abnormalities in SR-B1 KO HDL protein components that correlate with HDL function. In this commentary, we describe and discuss the differences in the results published by Cao et al. and those obtained in a recent study from our laboratory using shotgun proteomics of HDL of SR-B1 KO mice isolated by ultracentrifugation. We propose that different HDL purification procedures used may account for the discrepancies observed. We show that SR-B1 KO HDL purification using either PEG or dextran sulfate precipitation results in enrichment of small HDL subclasses, and may therefore underestimate alterations in lipoprotein composition or function. Compared to HDL obtained by ultracentrifugation, HDL isolated by PEG precipitation show a lower ApoE/ApoA-I proportion and reduced cholesterol content. HDL protein components described by Cao et al. or our laboratory are mostly inconsistent: only 33 HDL proteins were detected in both datasets, whereas a significant number of proteins were only identified by Cao et al. (n = 43) or Contreras-Duarte et al. (n = 26) datasets. The relative abundance of HDL-associated peptide and protein levels in WT vs SR-B1 HDL were also highly different in both datasets. This study indicates that caution must be taken when interpreting results from HDL isolated by chemical precipitation.
Keywords: HDL; Lipoproteins; Proteomics; SR-B1 KO mice.