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HDL-mediated reverse-cholesterol transport as well as phosphoinositide signaling are mediated through plasma membrane microdomains termed caveolae/lipid rafts. However, relatively little is known regarding mechanism(s) whereby these lipids traffic to or are targeted to caveolae/lipid rafts. Since sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) binds both cholesterol and phosphatidylinositol, the possibility that SCP-2 might interact with caveolin-1 and caveolae was examined. Double immunolabeling and laser scanning fluorescence microscopy showed that a small but significant portion of SCP-2 colocalized with caveolin-1 primarily at the plasma membrane of L-cells and more so within intracellular punctuate structures in hepatoma cells. In SCP-2 overexpressing L-cells, SCP-2 was detected in close proximity to caveolin, 48 ± 4 Å, as determined by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and immunogold electron microscopy. Cell fractionation of SCP-2 overexpressing L-cells and Western blotting detected SCP-2 in purified plasma membranes, especially in caveolae/ lipid rafts as compared to the nonraft fraction. SCP-2 and caveolin-1 were coimmunoprecipitated from cell lysates by anti-caveolin-1 and anti-SCP-2. Finally, a yeast two-hybrid assay demonstrated that SCP-2 directly interacts with caveolin-1 in vivo. These interactions of SCP-2 with caveolin-1 were specific since a functionally related protein, phosphatidyinositol transfer protein (PITP), colocalized much less well with caveolin-1, was not in close proximity to caveolin-1 (i.e., >120 Å), and was not coimmunoprecipitated by anti-caveolin-1 from cell lysates. In summary, it was shown for the first time that SCP-2 (but not PITP) selectively interacted with caveolin-1, both within the cytoplasm and at the plasma membrane. These data contribute significantly to our understanding of the role of SCP-2 in cholesterol and phosphatidylinositol targeted from intracellular sites of synthesis in the endoplasmic reticulum to caveolae/lipid rafts at the cell surface plasma membrane.


Zhou, Minglong, Rebecca D. Parr, Anca D. Petrescu, H. Ross Payne, Barbara P. Atshaves, Ann B. Kier, Judith M. Ball, and Friedhelm Schroeder. "Sterol carrier protein-2 directly interacts with caveolin-1 in vitro and in vivo." Biochemistry 43, no. 23 (2004): 7288-7306.

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