Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) promotes degradation of hepatic low density lipoprotein receptors (LDLR), the major route of clearance of circulating cholesterol. Gain-of-function mutations in PCSK9 cause hypercholesterolemia and premature atherosclerosis, whereas loss-of-function mutations result in hypocholesterolemia and protection from heart disease. Recombinant human PCSK9 binds the LDLR on the surface of cultured hepatocytes and promotes degradation of the receptor after internalization. Here we localized the site of binding of PCSK9 within the extracellular domain of the LDLR and determined the fate of the receptor after PCSK9 binding. Recombinant human PCSK9 interacted in a sequence-specific manner with the first epidermal growth factor-like repeat (EGF-A) in the EGF homology domain of the human LDLR. Similar binding specificity was observed between PCSK9 and purified EGF-A. Binding to EGF-A was calcium-dependent and increased dramatically with reduction in pH from 7 to 5.2. The addition of PCSK9, but not heat-inactivated PCSK9, to the medium of cultured hepatocytes resulted in redistribution of the receptor from the plasma membrane to lysosomes. These data are consistent with a model in which PCSK9 binding to EGF-A interferes with an acid-dependent conformational change required for receptor recycling. As a consequence, the LDLR is rerouted from the endosome to the lysosome where it is degraded.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - Jun 22 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology