Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling modulates protein stability and cell surface expression of scavenger receptor SR-BI

Peta Wood, Vishwaroop Mulay, Masoud Darabi, Karen Cecilia Chan, Joerg Heeren, Albert Pol, Gilles Lambert, Kerry Anne Rye, Carlos Enrich*, Thomas Grewal

*Corresponding author for this work
17 Citations (Scopus)


The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) Erk1/2 has been implicated to modulate the activity of nuclear receptors, including peroxisome proliferator activator receptors (PPARs) and liver X receptor, to alter the ability of cells to export cholesterol. Here, we investigated if the Ras-Raf-Mek-Erk1/2 signaling cascade could affect reverse cholesterol transport via modulation of scavenger receptor class BI (SR-BI) levels. We demonstrate that in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) and human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells, Mek1/2 inhibition reduces PPARα-inducible SR-BI protein expression and activity, as judged by reduced efflux onto high density lipoprotein (HDL). Ectopic expression of constitutively active H-Ras and Mek1 increases SR-BI protein levels, which correlates with elevated PPARα Ser-21 phosphorylation and increased cholesterol efflux. In contrast, SR-BI levels are insensitive to Mek1/2 inhibitors in PPARα-depleted cells. Most strikingly, Mek1/2 inhibition promotes SR-BI degradation in SR-BI-overexpressing CHO cells and human HuH7 hepatocytes, which is associated with reduced uptake of radiolabeled and 1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetra-methylindocarbocyane-labeled HDL. Loss of Mek1/2 kinase activity reduces SR-BI expression in the presence of bafilomycin, an inhibitor of lysosomal degradation, indicating down-regulation of SR-BI via proteasomal pathways. In conclusion, Mek1/2 inhibition enhances the PPARα-dependent degradation of SR-BI in hepatocytes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number26
Pages (from-to)23077-23092
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2011

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