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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High density lipoprotein-mediated cholesterol uptake and targeting to lipid droplets in intact L-cell fibroblasts. A single- and multiphoton fluorescence approach.

  • Author(s): Frolov, A
  • Petrescu, A
  • Atshaves, BP
  • So, PT
  • Gratton, E
  • Serrero, G
  • Schroeder, F
  • et al.

Fluorescent sterols, dehydroergosterol and NBD-cholesterol, were used to examine high density lipoprotein-mediated cholesterol uptake and intracellular targeting in L-cell fibroblasts. The uptake, but not esterification or targeting to lipid droplets, of these sterols differed >100-fold, suggesting significant differences in uptake pathways. NBD-cholesterol uptake kinetics and lipoprotein specificity reflected high density lipoprotein-mediated sterol uptake via the scavenger receptor B1. Fluorescence energy transfer showed an average intermolecular distance of 26 A between the two fluorescent sterols in L-cells. Indirect immunofluorescence revealed that both fluorescent sterols localized to L-cell lipid droplets, the surface of which contained adipose differentiation-related protein. This lipid droplet-specific protein specifically bound NBD-cholesterol with high affinity (K(d) = 2 nM) at a single site. Thus, NBD-cholesterol and dehydroergosterol were useful fluorescent probes of sterol uptake and intracellular sterol targeting. NBD-cholesterol more selectively probed high density lipoprotein-mediated uptake and rapid intracellular targeting of sterol to lipid droplets. Targeting of sterol to lipid droplets was correlated with the presence of adipose differentiation related protein, a lipid droplet-specific protein shown for the first time to bind unesterified sterol with high affinity.

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