Presecretory degradation of apolipoprotein[a] is mediated by the proteasome pathway

Ann L. White, Bernadette Guerra, Jin Wang, Robert E. Lanford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Scopus citations


    Plasma levels of atherogenic lipoprotein [a] (Lp[a]) vary over a 1000- fold range and are largely determined by the gene for its unique glycoprotein, apolipoprotein [a] (apo[a]). The apo[a] locus comprises more than 100 alleles, encoding proteins from <300 to >800 kDa. Using primary baboon hepatocyte cultures, we previously demonstrated that differences in the secretion efficiency of apo[a] allelic variants contribute to the variation in plasma Lp[a] levels. In the current study, we investigated the mechanism of apo[a] presecretory degradation. The proteasome inhibitors, acetyl-leucyl-leucyl-norleucinal and lactacystin, prevented apo[a] degradation and increased apo[a] secretion. Transfection with an HA-tagged ubiquitin construct demonstrated the accumulation of ubiquitinated apo[a] in the presence of lactacystin. These results suggest a role for the cytoplasmic proteasome in apo[a] proteolysis. Apo[a] that accumulated intracellularly in the presence of lactacystin remained sensitive to endo-B-N-glucosaminidase H, and apo[a] degradation was reversibly inhibited by brefeldin A, suggesting that transport to a post-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) pre-medial Golgi compartment is required for apo[a] degradation. Newly synthesized apo[a] bound to the ER chaperone calnexin and conditions that enhanced this interaction prevented apo[a] degradation, suggesting that calnexin can protect apo[a] from proteolysis. These studies provide further support for the role of the proteasome in endoplasmic reticulum quality control, and expand this role to one that influences plasma levels of the atherogenic lipoprotein Lp[a].

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)275-286
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of lipid research
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Feb 1999


    • Apolipoprotein[a]
    • Calnexin
    • Endoplasmic reticulum
    • Proteasome
    • Ubiquitin

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Endocrinology
    • Cell Biology


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