UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Haptoglobin inhibits phospholipid transfer protein activity in hyperlipidemic human plasma Henderson, Ryan J; Wasan, Kishor M; Leon, Carlos G


Background. Haptoglobin is a plasma protein that scavenges haemoglobin during haemolysis. Phospholipid Transfer Protein (PLTP) transfers lipids from Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) to High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). PLTP is involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis which causes coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in North America. It has been shown that Apolipoprotein-A1 (Apo-A1) binds and regulates PLTP activity. Haptoglobin can also bind to Apo-A1, affecting the ability of Apo-A1 to induce enzymatic activities. Thus we hypothesize that haptoglobin inhibits PLTP activity. This work tested the effect of Haptoglobin and Apo-A1 addition on PLTP activity in human plasma samples. The results will contribute to our understanding of the role of haptoglobin on modulating reverse cholesterol transport. Results We analyzed the PLTP activity and Apo-A1 and Haptoglobin content in six hyperlipidemic and six normolipidemic plasmas. We found that Apo-A1 levels are proportional to PLTP activity in hyperlipidemic (R² = 0.66, p < 0.05) but not in normolipidemic human plasma. Haptoglobin levels and PLTP activity are inversely proportional in hyperlipidemic plasmas (R² = 0.57, p > 0.05). When the PLTP activity was graphed versus the Hp/Apo-A1 ratio in hyperlipidemic plasma there was a significant correlation (R² = 0.69, p < 0.05) suggesting that PLTP activity is affected by the combined effect of Apo-A1 and haptoglobin. When haptoglobin was added to individual hyperlipidemic plasma samples there was a dose dependent decrease in PLTP activity. In these samples we also found a negative correlation (-0.59, p < 0.05) between PLTP activity and Hp/Apo-A1. When we added an amount of haptoglobin equivalent to 100% of the basal levels, we found a 64 ± 23% decrease (p < 0.05) in PLTP activity compared to basal PLTP activity. We tested the hypothesis that additional Apo-A1 would induce PLTP activity. Interestingly we found a dose dependent decrease in PLTP activity upon Apo-A1 addition. When both Apo-A1 and Hpt were added to the plasma samples there was no further reduction in PLTP activity suggesting that they act through a common pathway. Conclusion These findings suggest an inhibitory effect of Haptoglobin over PLTP activity in hyperlipidemic plasma that may contribute to the regulation of reverse cholesterol transport.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)