Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease remains the major cause of death in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T1DM, T2DM). Atherosclerosis arises from the retention of cholesterol-rich, apolipoprotein-B (apoB)-containing lipoproteins within the vessel wall. Importantly, diabetic patients suffer from a unique and typically neglected aspect of cardiovascular risk, namely, the striking persistence of intestinally derived apoB-lipoproteins, called 'remnants,'in their plasma after each meal. The cause is a defect in hepatic clearance of these harmful particles. A major impediment in this area has been our ignorance regarding pathways for remnant uptake into liver. Over a quarter century ago, hepatic uptake of remnants was shown to be independent of LDL receptors. This realization launched a long, difficult search for the responsible molecules. In 1991-1992, seminal work from our laboratory implicated heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in remnant lipoprotein uptake. Each HSPG molecule consists of a protein strand onto which the cell assembles sugar polymers, called heparan sulfate, that we showed could capture lipoproteins. Despite the existence of roughly 50 genes that are directly involved in hepatic HSPG assembly and disassembly, our results so far indicate dysregulation of only two of them in diabetes. Moreover, T1DM and T2DM induce distinct molecular derangements. First, we identified Ndst1, a key enzyme in heparan sulfate assembly, as specifically suppressed in T1DM liver in vivo. Second, in a major, recent breakthrough, we found that T2DM induces a novel HSPG degradative enzyme in liver. Thus, our central hypothesis is that the atherogenic, postprandial dyslipidemias of T1DM and T2DM each arise from dysregulation of a surprisingly small number of key molecules that directly affect hepatic HSPG structure.
Aim 1 will use specific gene transfer to test the hypothesis that Ndst1 suppression is responsible for impaired remnant clearance in T1DM. Because Ndst1 deficiency can mask defects in other HSPG assembly enzymes, we will compre- hensively characterize hepatic HSPG structure, molecular biology, and function as remnant recep- tors in vivo in T1DM, without and with Ndst1 gene transfer.
Aim 2 will use a specific knock-down in vivo to test the hypothesis that the overexpressed degradative enzyme impairs remnant clearance in T2DM. To ensure a comprehensive survey, we will characterize hepatic HSPG fine structure, molecular biology, and postprandial dyslipidemia in T2DM, without and with the knock-down. Overall, these proposed Aims will define the structural and molecular derangements in HSPG assembly that are responsible for diabetic postprandial dyslipidemias. The work will expand our understanding of excess cardiovascular disease in diabetes and provide novel therapeutic targets.

Public Health Relevance

Project relevance to public health Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus suffer from fatal and disabling atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease that results in part from the striking persistence of harmful intestinally derived lipoproteins, called 'remnants,'in their plasma after each meal. Based on our seminal work implicating a crucial role for heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in the rapid, healthy disposal of remnant lipoproteins by the liver, we now seek to characterize the structural and molecular derangements responsible for impaired hepatic HSPG function in T1DM and T2DM. By expanding our understanding of the pathophysiology of diabetic postprandial dyslipidemias, we may be able to avert the tremendous excess burden of cardiovascular disease in diabetes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Atherosclerosis and Inflammation of the Cardiovascular System Study Section (AICS)
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Ershow, Abby
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Temple University
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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