Tissue expression studies on the mouse acyl-CoA: cholesterol acyltransferase gene (Acact): findings supporting the existence of multiple cholesterol esterification enzymes in mice.
Cholesterol esterification is involved in the regulation of cellular cholesterol content and has been hypothesized to play a role in important physiologic processes including intestinal cholesterol absorption, hepatic lipoprotein production, and macrophage foam cell formation in atherosclerotic lesions. Although initial studies of the mouse acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase gene (Acact) suggested that its gene product was responsible for cholesterol esterification in most tissues, we observed recently that Acact-/- mice have only tissue-specific reductions in cholesterol esterification. To better understand the role of Acact in cholesterol esterification, we used in situ hybridization and immunoblotting to perform tissue expression studies in wild-type mice. We found high levels of Acact expression in steroidogenic tissues, sebaceous glands, and atherosclerotic lesions, but not in the liver or the small intestine. These data support the hypothesis that multiple cholesterol esterification enzymes exist in mammals and that another enzyme is likely to be responsible for cholesterol esterification activity in mouse liver and intestine.
Meiner, V; Tam, C; Gunn, MD; Dong, LM; Weisgraber, KH; Novak, S; Myers, HM; Erickson, SK; Farese, RV
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