The establishment of telomerase-immortalized Tangier disease cell lines indicates the existence of an apolipoprotein A-I-inducible but ABCA1-independent cholesterol efflux pathway

Michael Walter, Nicholas R. Forsyth, Woodring E. Wright, Jerry W. Shay, Michael G. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tangier disease (TD) is a human genetic disorder associated with defective apolipoprotein-I-induced lipid efflux and increased atherosclerotic susceptibility. It has been linked to mutations in the ATP-binding cassette protein A1 (ABCA1). Here we describe the establishment of permanent Tangier cell lines using telomerase. Ectopic expression of the catalytic subunit of human telomerase extended the life span of control and TD skin fibroblasts, and (in contrast to immortalization procedures using viral oncogenes) did not impair apolipoprotein A-I-induced lipid efflux. The key characteristics of TD fibroblasts (reduced cholesterol and phospholipid efflux) were observed both in primary and telomerase-immortalized fibroblasts from two unrelated homozygous patients. Surprisingly, the apolipoprotein-inducible cholesterol efflux in TD cells was significantly improved after immortalization (up to 40% of normal values). In contrast to ABCA1-dependent cholesterol efflux, this efflux was not inhibited by brefeldin A, glybenclamide, or intracellular ATP depletion but was inhibited in the presence of cytochalasin D. Apolipoprotein A-I-dependent cholesterol efflux was inversely correlated with the population doubling number in cell culture and was inhibited up to 40% in near-senescent normal diploid fibroblasts. This inhibition was completely reversed by telomerase. Thus ectopic expression of telomerase is a way to circumvent the lack of critical experimental material and represents a major improvement for studying cholesterol efflux pathways in lipid disorders. Our findings indicate the existence of an ABCA1-independent but cytoskeleton-dependent cholesterol removal pathway that may help to prevent early atherosclerosis in Tangier disease but may also be sensitive to aging phenomena ex vivo and possibly in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20866-20873
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume279
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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