Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency impairs regulation of ABCA1 gene and formation of high density lipoproteins in cholesteryl ester storage disease

Kristin L. Bowden, Nicolas J. Bilbey, Leanne M. Bilawchuk, Emmanuel Boadu, Rohini Sidhu, Daniel S. Ory, Hong Du, Teddy Chan, Gordon A. Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations


ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) mediates the rate-limiting step in high density lipoprotein (HDL) particle formation, and its expression is regulated primarily by oxysterol-dependent activation of liver X receptors. We previously reported that ABCA1 expression and HDL formation are impaired in the lysosomal cholesterol storage disorder Niemann-Pick disease type C1 and that plasma HDL-C is low in the majority of Niemann-Pick disease type C patients. Here, we show that ABCA1 regulation and activity are also impaired in cholesteryl ester storage disease (CESD), caused by mutations in the LIPA gene that result in less than 5% of normal lysosomal acid lipase (LAL) activity. Fibroblasts from patients with CESD showed impaired up-regulation of ABCA1 in response to low density lipoprotein (LDL) loading, reduced phospholipid and cholesterol efflux to apolipoprotein A-I, and reduced α-HDL particle formation. Treatment of normal fibroblasts with chloroquine to inhibit LAL activity reduced ABCA1 expression and activity, similar to that of CESD cells. Liver X receptor agonist treatment of CESD cells corrected ABCA1 expression but failed to correct LDL cholesteryl ester hydrolysis and cholesterol efflux to apoA-I. LDL-induced production of 27-hydroxycholesterol was reduced in CESD compared with normal fibroblasts. Treatment with conditioned medium containing LAL from normal fibroblasts or with recombinant human LAL rescued ABCA1 expression, apoA-I-mediated cholesterol efflux, HDL particle formation, and production of 27-hydroxycholesterol by CESD cells. These results provide further evidence that the rate of release of cholesterol from late endosomes/lysosomes is a critical regulator of ABCA1 expression and activity, and an explanation for the hypoalphalipoproteinemia seen in CESD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30624-30635
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number35
StatePublished - Sep 2 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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