The proposed ligand binding domain of the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor consists of a 40-amino acid cysteine-rich unit that is repeated with some variation seven times. We describe here a mutant allele at the LDL receptor locus in which one of the seven repeats has been deleted. This mutation was found in a patient with the clinical syndrome of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. By molecular cloning, we show that the deletion arose by homologous recombination between repetitive Alu sequences in intron 4 and intron 5 of the gene. The deletion removes exon 5, which normally encodes the sixth repeat of the ligand binding domain. In the resultant mRNA, exon 4 is spliced to exon 6, preserving the reading frame. This mRNA produces a shortened protein that reaches the cell surface and reacts with anti-receptor antibodies but does not bind LDL, which contains apoprotein B-100 as its major protein component. Surprisingly, the deleted protein retains the ability to bind and internalize β-migrating very low density lipoprotein, a lipoprotein that contains apoprotein E as well as apoprotein B-100. These data support the hypothesis that the seven repeated sequences in the receptor constitute the LDL binding domain. The data further indicate that the sixth repeat is required for binding of LDL, but not β-migrating very low density lipoprotein, and that deletion of a single cysteine-rich repeat can alter the binding specificity of the LDL receptor.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1986|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology