Global effects of pharmacologic inhibition of OSBP in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

Steroids. 2022 Sep:185:109053. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2022.109053. Epub 2022 May 25.


Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) is a cholesterol/PI4P exchanger at contacts of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) with trans-Golgi network (TGN) and endosomes. Several central endothelial cell (EC) functions depend on adequate cholesterol distribution in cellular membranes. Here we elucidated the effects of pharmacologic OSBP inhibition on the lipidome and transcriptome of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). OSBP was inhibited for 24 h with 25 nM Schweinfurthin G (SWG) or Orsaponin (OSW-1), followed by analyses of cellular cholesterol, 27-hydroxy-cholesterol, and triacylglycerol concentration, phosphatidylserine synthesis rate, the lipidome, as well as lipid droplet staining and western analysis of OSBP protein. Next-generation RNA sequencing of the SWG-treated and control HUVECs and angiogenesis assays were performed. Protein-normalized lipidomes of the inhibitor-treated cells revealed decreases in glycerophospholipids, the most pronounced effect being on phosphatidylserines and the rate of their synthesis, as well as increases in cholesteryl esters, triacylglycerols and lipid droplet number. Transcriptome analysis of SWG-treated cells suggested ER stress responses apparently caused by disturbed cholesterol exit from the ER, as indicated by suppression of cholesterol biosynthetic genes. OSBP was associated with the TGN in the absence of inhibitors and disappeared therefrom in inhibitor-treated cells in a time-dependent manner, coinciding with OSBP reduction on western blots. Prolonged treatment with SWG or OSW-1 inhibited angiogenesis in vitro. To conclude, inhibition of OSBP in primary endothelial cells induced multiple effects on the lipidome, transcriptome changes suggesting ER stress, and disruption of in vitro angiogenic capacity. Thus, OSBP is a crucial regulator of EC lipid homeostasis and angiogenic capacity.

Keywords: Cholesterol; ER stress; Endothelial cells; Lipidomics; OSBP; Transcriptomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Steroid* / metabolism


  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Cholesterol