Cellular metabolism of human plasma intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL)

Gideon Friedman, Dov Gavish, Tikva Vogel, Shlomo Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cellular metabolism of human plasma intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) was investigated in cultured human skin fibroblasts and hepG-2 cell in the absence and presence of exogenous recombinant or plasmatic apo E-3. IDL (d 1.006-1.019 g/ml) and LDL (d 1.019-1.063 g/ml) were prepared by centrifugation from the plasma of apo E- 3 3 or 4 3 normolipidemic human subjects. Without added apo E-3, IDL binding and cell association are similar or slightly reduced while their degradation is one third to one half. This results in degradation to binding ratios for IDL that are half those for LDL. Exogenous apo E-3 enhances binding, association and degradation of IDL by 50-150%, but the degradation to binding ratio remains low. Exogenous apo E-3 also increased the ability of IDL but not LDL, to down-regulate the incorporation of [14C]acetate to sterol by the cells. The optimal concentration of apo E-3 is 4 μg protein/10 μg IDL protein and at that concentration appreciable amounts of the apo E are found associated with the lipoprotein. Apo E-2 has no effect on the cellular metabolism of IDL and apo E-3 is not effective in receptor-negative human fibroblasts. Monoclonal antibodies that block apo E binding to B, E (LDL) receptor (1D7) abolish the cellular metabolism of IDL while antibodies against B-100 (4G3) are ineffective. In competitive binding experiments, IDL is slightly more effective than LDL in displacing 125I-LDL from receptors in hepG-2 cells and appreciably more effective than LDL when tested against 125I-IDL. Apo E-3 increases the capacity of IDL to compete with either 125I-LDL or 125I-IDL. Addition of apo E-3 also increases the binding affinity of IDL to hepG-2 receptors, with Kd values of 2.50, 0.93 μg protein/ml, respectively. The study demonstrates the essential role that functional apo E molecules play in the interaction of human IDL with cellular receptors. Yet, in spite of presence of apo E in IDL (2-3 molecules /particle) and enrichment of IDL with apo E-3 (to 4-5 molecules /particle) the proteolytic degradation of the lipoprotein by specific cellular receptor is similar to LDL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • (Human fibroblast)
  • IDL
  • Lipoprotein metabolism


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