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Serum albumin acts as a shuttle to enhance cholesterol efflux from cells.

J Lipid Res. 2013 Jan 3;

Authors: Sankaranarayanan S, de la Llera-Moya M, Drazul-Schrader D, Phillips MC, Kellner-Weibel G, Rothblat GH


An important mechanism contributing to cell cholesterol efflux is aqueous transfer in which cholesterol diffuses from cells into the aqueous phase and becomes incorporated into an acceptor particle. Some compounds can enhance diffusion by acting as shuttles transferring cholesterol to cholesterol acceptors which act as cholesterol sinks. We have examined whether particles in serum can enhance cholesterol efflux by acting as shuttles. This task was accomplished by incubating radiolabeled J774 cells with increasing concentrations of lipoprotein-depleted sera (LPDS) or components present in serum as shuttles and a constant amount of LDL, small unilamellar vesicles, or red blood cells (RBC) as sinks. Synergistic efflux was measured as the difference in fractional efflux in excess of that predicted by the addition of the individual efflux values of sink and shuttle alone. Synergistic efflux was obtained when LPDS was incubated with cells and LDL. When different components of LPDS were used as shuttles, albumin produced synergistic efflux, while Apo A-I did not. A synergistic effect was also obtained when RBC were used as the sink and albumin as shuttle. The previously observed negative association of albumin with coronary artery disease might be linked to reduced cholesterol shuttling which would occur when serum albumin levels are low.

PMID: 23288948 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]