Familial combined hyperlipidemia plasma stimulates protein secretion by HepG2 cells: identification of fibronectin in the differential secretion proteome

M.M.J. van Greevenbroek*, V.M.M.J. Vermeulen, T.W.A. de Bruin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Laboratory for Molecular Metabolism and Endocrinology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether soluble factors in plasma of familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL) patients affect hepatic protein secretion. Cultured human hepatocytes, i.e., HepG2 cells, were incubated with fasting plasma (20%, v/v, in DMEM) from untreated FCHL patients or normolipidemic controls. Overall protein secretion was 10-15% higher after incubation with FCHL plasma. This was specifically caused by an increase in four secreted proteins, with estimated sizes of 240, 180, 120, and <40 kD (P < 0.001, P < 0.006, P < 0.002, P < 0.02, respectively). The 240 kD protein in the secretion proteome was identified as fibronectin by mass spectrometry. Plasma fibronectin concentrations were elevated in FCHL patients, confirming biological relevance of these data. Overall protein secretion by HepG2 cells correlated with concentrations of triglycerides (r = 0.61, P < 0.001) in the applied plasma samples. VLDL+IDL isolated from FCHL patients, induced a higher protein secretion than lipoproteins isolated from controls (P < 0.001). Remarkably, secretion of apoB, the structural protein of VLDL, was stimulated to a similar extent by FCHL and control plasma. FCHL plasma did not induce excess secretion of apoB by HepG2 cells compared with control plasma. FCHL plasma did stimulate secretion of several distinct hepatic proteins, among which fibronectin was identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1846-1854
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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