Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency protects against cholesterol-induced hepatic endoplasmic reticulum stress in mice.
The assembly of very low density lipoproteins involves the formation of a primordial, poorly lipidated apoB-containing particle in the endoplasmic reticulum, followed by the addition of neutral lipid from luminal lipid droplets (LLD). However, the lipid and protein compositions of LLD have not been determined. We have isolated LLD from mouse liver microsomes and analyzed their lipid and protein compositions. LLD are variably sized particles relatively poor in triacylglycerol (TG) content when compared with the lipid composition of cytosolic lipid droplets (CLD). They are devoid of apoB, adipophilin, and albumin but contain numerous proteins different from those found on CLD, including TG hydrolase (TGH), carboxylesterase 1 (Ces1), microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), and apoE. Ectopic expression of TGH in McArdle RH7777 hepatoma cells resulted in decreased cellular TG levels, demonstrating a role for TGH in the mobilization of hepatic neutral lipid stores. The isolation and characterization of LLD provide new supporting evidence for the two-step assembly of very low density lipoproteins.