Overexpression of low density lipoprotein receptor on Chinese hamster ovary cells generates foam cells.
The atherosclerotic lesion is characterized by the presence of cholesterol-loaded foam cells. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells do not normally store cholesteryl esters because low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors are suppressed by exposure of these cells to LDL cholesterol. We transfected LDL receptor cDNA linked to the simian virus 40 early promoter into CHO cells (CHO 29) and found that LDL receptor binding in these cells was not suppressed by an excess amount of LDL cholesterol, indicating no regulation of the LDL receptor in CHO 29 cells. Furthermore, CHO 29 cells showed a high activity of LDL uptake and intracellular accumulation of cholesteryl esters. Light-microscopic examination demonstrated the resulting formation of foam cells in CHO 29 cells in the presence of 5 micrograms LDL/ml. These results demonstrated that foam cell changes in atherosclerotic lesions can be reproduced in CHO cells, whose LDL receptor activity is overexpressed, through the mechanism of LDL receptor-mediated endocytosis of native LDL.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association