- 4β-Hydroxycholesterol (4β-OHC) is formed by Cytochrome P450 (CYP)3A and has drawn attention as an endogenous phenotyping probe for CYP3A activity. However, 4β-OHC is also increased by cholesterol autooxidation occurring in vitro due to dysregulated storage and in vivo by oxidative stress or inflammation, independent of CYP3A activity. 4α-hydroxycholesterol (4α-OHC), a stereoisomer of 4β-OHC, is also formed via autooxidation of cholesterol, not by CYP3A, and thus may have clinical potential in reflecting the state of cholesterol autooxidation.
- Cholesterol is an essential component of mammalian cell membranes whose subcellular concentration and function are tightly regulated by de novo biosynthesis, transport, and storage. Although recent reports have suggested diverse functions of cellular cholesterol in different subcellular membranes, systematic investigation of its site-specific roles has been hampered by the lack of a methodology for spatiotemporal manipulation of cellular cholesterol levels. Here, we report the development of a new cholesterol depletion system that allows for spatiotemporal manipulation of intracellular cholesterol levels.
- Current methods for determining “LDL-C” in clinical practice measure the cholesterol content of both LDL and lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)-C]. We developed a high-throughput, sensitive, and rapid method to quantitate Lp(a)-C and improve the accuracy of LDL-C by subtracting for Lp(a)-C (LDL-Ccorr). Lp(a)-C is determined following isolation of the Lp(a) on magnetic beads linked to monoclonal antibody LPA4 recognizing apolipoprotein(a). This Lp(a)-C assay does not detect cholesterol in plasma samples lacking Lp(a) and is linear up to 747 nM Lp(a).
- Analyzing global steroid metabolism in humans can shed light on the etiologies of steroid-related diseases. However, existing methods require large amounts of serum and lack the evaluation of accuracy. Here, we developed an LC/MS/MS method for the simultaneous quantification of 12 steroid hormones: testosterone, pregnenolone, progesterone, androstenedione, corticosterone, 11-deoxycortisol, cortisol, 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, estriol, and estradiol. Steroids and spiked internal standards in 100 μl serum were extracted by protein precipitation and liquid-liquid extraction.
- Familial LCAT deficiency (FLD) patients accumulate lipoprotein-X (LP-X), an abnormal nephrotoxic lipoprotein enriched in free cholesterol (FC). The low neutral lipid content of LP-X limits the ability to detect it after separation by lipoprotein electrophoresis and staining with Sudan Black or other neutral lipid stains. A sensitive and accurate method for quantitating LP-X would be useful to examine the relationship between plasma LP-X and renal disease progression in FLD patients and could also serve as a biomarker for monitoring recombinant human LCAT (rhLCAT) therapy.
- Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a tool to rapidly map the spatial location of analytes without the need for tagging or a reporter system. Niemann-Pick disease type C1 (NPC1) is a neurodegenerative, lysosomal storage disorder characterized by accumulation of unesterified cholesterol and sphingolipids in the endo-lysosomal system. Here, we use MSI to visualize lipids including cholesterol in cerebellar brain tissue from the NPC1 symptomatic mouse model and unaffected controls. To complement the imaging studies, a data-processing pipeline was developed to generate consensus mass spectra, thereby using both technical and biological image replicates to assess differences.
- Monitoring the expression of cell-surface receptors, their interaction with extracellular ligands, and their fate upon ligand binding is important for understanding receptor function and developing new therapies. We describe a cell-based method that utilizes bioluminescent protein complementation technology to interrogate binding of a cellular receptor with its extracellular protein ligand, specifically LDL receptor (LDLR) and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9). Purified, full-length tagged PCSK9 is added to assay wells containing cells that stably express LDLR with an extracellular complementary tag.
- Cholesterol homeostasis is regulated not only by cholesterol, but also by oxygenated cholesterol species, referred to as oxysterols. Side-chain oxysterols, such as 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-HC), regulate cholesterol homeostasis through feedback inhibition and feed-forward activation of transcriptional pathways that govern cholesterol synthesis, uptake, and elimination, as well as through direct nongenomic actions that modulate cholesterol accessibility in membranes. Elucidating the cellular distribution of 25-HC is required to understand its biological activity at the molecular level.
- apoM is a member of the lipocalin superfamily and circulates in plasma attached to HDL particles. apoM plays a role in cholesterol metabolism and has recently been identified as transporter for the signaling lipid, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), in plasma. S1P is implicated in several inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The ability to accurately measure apoM is crucial for investigating its biological functions and possible clinical implications. However, reliable commercial methods have been lacking so far.