Evidence for non-equilibrating pools of apolipoprotein C-III in plasma lipoproteins

P. R. Bukberg, N. A. Le, H. N. Ginsberg, J. C. Gibson, A. Rubinstein, W. V. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using immunoaffinity chromatography to isolate apoC-III from radiolabeled lipoproteins for direct determination of specific radioactivity, we have studied the metabolism of human apoC-III in VLDL and in HDL following the bolus injection of 125I-labeled VLDL. Transfer of apoC-III radioactivity from VLDL to HDL was detected in the plasma sample drawn 5 min after injection of the tracer. However, the specific radioactivity of apoC-III in VLDL was found to higher than that in HDL, with this difference being maintained throughout the sampling period (48-72 hr). The ratios of the respective specific activities ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 in six subjects studied (two normolipidemics and four hypertriglyceridemics). When 125I-labeled HDL was injected as the tracer, however, the higher apoC-III specific radioactivity was associated with the HDL fraction. This lack of complete equilibration of apoC-III between VLDL and HDL in vivo was further characterized by in vitro studies using either 125I-labeled VLDL or 125I-labeled HDL. All incubations were carried out for 3 hr at 37° C followed by 16 hr at 4° C and the apoC-III specific activity in each lipoprotein fraction was directly determined after immunoaffinity chromatography. In a study of plasma from a mildly hypertriglyceridemic subject in which 125I-labeled VLDL was incubated with unlabeled HDL, apoC-III specific activities in VLDL remained 30% greater than that in HDL. When 125I-labeled HDL(from the same subject) was incubated with unlabeled VLDL of apoC-III, final specific activity in VLDL was less than 10% of that of HDL apoC-III. Differences in specific activities were also demonstrated when radiolabeled purified apoC-III was exchanged onto VLDL prior to its incubation with HDL. A consistent difference in apoC-III specific activities in VLDL and HDL was observed after isolation of the particles either by molecular sieve chromatography or by ultracentrifugation. These studies demonstrated that, while the exchange of apoC-III between VLDL and HDL may be very rapid, this equilibration is not complete. Pools of apoC-III that do not participate in the equilibration process are present in both the VLDL and HDL fractions and could account for 30-60% of the total apoC-III mass in each lipoprotein fraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1057
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1985


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