Characteristics of the Cholesterol-Esterifying Activity in Normal and Atherosclerotic Rabbit Aortas
Esterification of cholesterol with [1-14C]palmityl-CoA by an atherosclerotic cell-free homogenate was approximately 16-50-fold greater than that by a normal cell-free homogenate for a given amount of protein in the homogenate. This difference was due to hyperactivity of the cholesterol-esterifying system in the atherosclerotic cell-free homogenate rather than to depletion of radioactive palmityl-CoA in the reaction mixture containing normal homogenate. Neither an activator of cholesterol esterification in the soluble fraction of the atherosclerotic aortic homogenate nor an inhibitor in the soluble fraction of the normal aortic homogenate could be demonstrated. The pH optimum within the pH range covered for esterification and the apparent Km values were approximately the same in normal and atherosclerotic microsomes, suggesting that the enzymes were probably the same. The results suggested a higher concentration or a higher activity of the enzyme in or on atherosclerotic microsomes. An alternative possibility is that high concentrations of free cholesterol in the atherosclerotic microsomes were responsible for the augmented cholesterol esterification. This possibility seems unlikely, because the observed 2.3-fold increase in the free cholesterol concentration should not produce a 25-fold increase in cholesterol esterification. The rate of cholesterol esterification by atherosclerotic microsomes varied with the substrate: oleyl-CoA > palmityl-CoA > linoleyl-CoA.
- cholesterol esterification
- pH optimum
- cholesterol concentration
- cell-free homogenate
- Received April 16, 1973.
- Accepted November 5, 1973.
- © 1974 American Heart Association, Inc.