ACAT1-associated Late Endosomes/Lysosomes Significantly Improve Impaired Intracellular Cholesterol Metabolism and the Survival of Niemann-Pick Type C Mice
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We previously demonstrated that macrophages exhibit endoplasmic reticulum fragmentation under cholesterol-rich conditions, which results in the generation of acyl-coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase 1 (ACAT1)-associated late endosomes/lysosomes (ACAT1-LE). ACAT1-LE efficiently esterify free cholesterol <i>in loco</i>, even with abnormal egress of free cholesterol from late endosomes. Because impaired free cholesterol transport from late endosomes results in Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC), the induction of ACAT1-LE is a potential therapeutic intervention for NPC. To examine the effects of ACAT1-LE induction on intracellular cholesterol metabolism, we incubated bone marrow-derived macrophages possessing NPC phenotype (<i>npc1</i><sup>–/–</sup>) with methyl-β-cyclodextrin-cholesterol complex (mβCD-cho), a cholesterol donor. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy revealed that mβCD-cho treatment of <i>npc1</i><sup>–/–</sup> macrophages resulted in significant colocalization of signals from ACAT1 and lysosome-associated membrane protein 2, a late endosome/lysosome marker. <i>npc1</i><sup>–/–</sup> macrophages contained significant amounts of free cholesterol with negligible amounts of cholesteryl ester, while wild-type macrophages possessed the same amounts of both cholesterols. mβCD-cho treatment also induced marked restoration of cholesterol esterification activity. mβCD-cho administration in neonate <i>npc1</i><sup>–/–</sup> mice improved survival. These results indicate that ACAT1-LE induction in <i>npc1</i><sup>–/–</sup> mice corrects impaired intracellular cholesterol metabolism and that restoring cholesterol esterification improves prognosis of <i>npc1</i><sup>–/–</sup>. These data suggest that ACAT1-LE induction is a potential alternative therapeutic strategy for NPC.
- ACTA HISTOCHEMICA ET CYTOCHEMICA
ACTA HISTOCHEMICA ET CYTOCHEMICA 47(2), 35-43, 2014
JAPAN SOCIETY OF HISTOCHEMISTRY AND CYTOCHEMISTRY