Oxidation of low density lipoprotein by iron at lysosomal pH: implications for atherosclerosis
To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/bi2017975
Low density lipoprotein (LDL) has recently been shown to be oxidised by iron within the lysosomes of macrophages and this is a novel potential mechanism for LDL oxidation in atherosclerosis. Our aim was to characterise the chemical and physical changes induced in LDL by iron at lysosomal pH and to investigate the effects of iron chelators and α-tocopherol on this process. LDL was oxidised by iron at pH 4.5 and 37°C and its oxidation monitored by spectrophotometry and HPLC. LDL was oxidised effectively by FeSO4 (5-50 µM) and became highly aggregated at pH 4.5, but not at pH 7.4. Cholesteryl esters decreased and after a pronounced lag 7-ketocholesterol increased greatly. Total hydroperoxides (measured by tri-iodide assay) increased up to 24 h and then decreased only slowly. The lipid composition after 12 h at pH 4.5 and 37°C was similar to that of LDL oxidised by copper at pH 7.4 and 4°C, i.e. rich in hydroperoxides but low in oxysterols. Previously oxidised LDL aggregated rapidly and spontaneously at pH 4.5, but not at pH 7.4. Ferrous was much more effective than ferric iron at oxidising LDL when added after the oxidation was already underway. The iron chelators diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid and, to a lesser extent, desferrioxamine inhibited LDL oxidation when added during its initial stages, but were unable to prevent LDL aggregating after it had been partially oxidised. Surprisingly, desferrioxamine increased the rate of LDL modification when added late in the oxidation process. α-Tocopherol enrichment of LDL initially increased the oxidation of LDL, but inhibited it later. The presence of oxidised and highly aggregated lipid within lysosomes has the potential to perturb the function of these organelles and to promote atherosclerosis.