Cholesteryl ester loading of mouse peritoneal macrophages is associated with changes in the expression or modification of specific cellular proteins, including increase in an alpha-enolase isoform.
This report explores the hypothesis that massive cholesteryl ester (CE) accumulation in macrophages, such as that occurring in atheroma foam cells, results in changes in the expression or modification of specific cellular proteins. Two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoretic patterns of metabolically labeled cellular proteins from mouse peritoneal macrophages that were loaded with CE (through incubation with acetylated low density lipoprotein [acetyl-LDL] for 4 days) were compared with those of control macrophages. Densitometric analysis of 2-D gel autoradiograms from the cell lysates revealed statistically significant changes in seven cellular proteins (five decreases and two increases). The changes in protein expression (foam cell versus control) ranged from a 458 +/- 164% (p < 0.001) increase to a 35 +/- 34% (p < 0.001) decrease (n = 11). Incubation of macrophages with beta-very low density lipoprotein, which also increased the CE content of macrophages (albeit to a lesser extent than acetyl-LDL), resulted in changes in five of the seven proteins. In contrast, incubation of cells with LDL, fucoidan, or latex beads, none of which caused CE accumulation, did not lead to significant changes in four of these five proteins. One of these four proteins, which increased fourfold to fivefold in foam cells (M(r) = 49,000; isoelectric point of 6.8), was purified by preparative 2-D gel electrophoresis. Internal amino acid sequence of cyanogen bromide fragments of this protein as well as Western blot analysis identified this protein as an isoform of alpha-enolase. The increased expression of this alpha-enolase isoform, which was seen as early as day 2 of acetyl-LDL incubation of the macrophages, was diminished by including an inhibitor of cholesterol esterification during the acetyl-LDL incubation period. In conclusion, macrophage foam cell formation is associated with distinct changes in protein expression, including a marked increase in an isoform of alpha-enolase, suggesting a specific biological adaptation to CE loading.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association