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Effect of bilayer cholesterol content on reconstituted human erythrocyte sugar transporter activity



Effect of bilayer cholesterol content on reconstituted human erythrocyte sugar transporter activity



Journal of Biological Chemistry 260(5): 2617-2620



The influence of altered bilayer cholesterol content on the catalytic activity of the human red cell hexose transporter was examined by reconstitution of the transport protein (band 4.5) into bilayers of large unilamellar vesicles formed from dipalmitoyl lecithin and varying amounts of cholesterol. The physical state of the bilayers was characterized by differential scanning calorimetry. The major findings are as follows: changes in bilayer phase behavior occur at membrane cholesterol levels of 15 to 20 mol % and 30 to 40 mol %; and the catalytic activity of the reconstituted transporter (Vmax/transporter) correlates with bilayer phase behavior. In crystalline bilayers, this is seen as an abrupt, stimulation of activity at 15 mol % cholesterol (which is reversed at 17.5 mol %) and a gradual acceleration of activity between 30 to 40 mol % cholesterol. In fluid bilayers (where activity is high), activity is unaffected by 10, 20, and 30 mol % cholesterol. However, 12.5 and 17.5 mol % cholesterol reduce activity by 100-fold. These studies demonstrate that small changes in bilayer cholesterol content result in drastic alterations in transporter activity. Transporter sensitivity to cholesterol is a complex rather than monotonic function of bilayer cholesterol content and appears to be primarily determined by bilayer composition rather than by bilayer "fluidity."

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Accession: 017870847

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PMID: 4038706


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