Difference in substrate specificity between human and mouse lysosomal acid lipase: low affinity for cholesteryl ester in mouse lysosomal acid lipase


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Lysosomal acid lipase (LAL) is essential for the intracellular degradation of cholesteryl esters (CE) and triacylglycerols (TG) that are delivered to lysosomes by low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor mediated endocytosis. We have analysed the difference in the catalytic properties and substrate specificity of human and mouse LALs. LAL activities were measured in human and mouse fibroblasts and in HeLa cells transiently expressing wild-type or site-directed mutant LALs of the two species using the T7 vaccinia system. Cholesteryl esterase and triacylglycerol lipase activities were determined in cellular homogenates with a phospholipid/detergent vesicle assay, an assay frequently used to diagnose human LAL deficiency syndromes, and with LDL particles, a more physiological substrate. Characterisation of human and mouse LAL using these two assays demonstrated marked differences in their TG and CE hydrolysing activities. Compared to human LAL mouse LAL showed a much lower cholesteryl esterase activity in both assays used. The differences was more pronounced in the vesicle assay. The lower cholesteryl esterase activity of mouse LAL did not affect the LDL-CE degradation in intact fibroblasts. The analysis of site-directed mutants suggests a role of the non-conserved cysteine residue to position 240 in cholesteryl esterase activity in human LAL. Our results show a significant difference between human and mouse LAL in their specificity toward cholesteryl esters. The low cholesteryl esterase activity does not result in reduced LDL-cholesterol ester degradation in mouse fibroblasts in situ. In addition, this work emphasises the importance of the physical state of substrates in studies of the specificity and properties of lipolytic enzymes.



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