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Jüngst, Dieter; Weiser, H.; Siess, E. and Karl, Hans Josef (1984): Urinary cholesterol: its association with a macromolecular protein- lipid complex. In: Journal of lipid research, Vol. 25, No. 7: pp. 655-664 [PDF, 2MB]

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The cholesterol-containing complexes in the urine of normal subjects and patients with diseases accompanied by hyperexcretion of urinary cholesterol were characterized. In normal subjects, the major portion of the recovered urinary cholesterol was eluted in the void volume fractions after gel chromatography on Bio-Gel A-5m; this suggested an association with a macromolecular complex above 5 X 10(6) daltons. A comparable elution pattern was seen in most of the urines of the patients with benign or malignant diseases of the kidneys or the urogenital tract. However, in single patients with hyperexcretion of urinary cholesterol, considerable amounts of cholesterol were detected in the included volume of the column. This was caused by additional excretion of high density lipoproteins or both high and low density lipoproteins in the urine which could be identified in these fractions by agarose electrophoresis and immunodiffusion. These results indicate that the macromolecular complex represents the majority of the recovered urinary cholesterol in normal subjects and in disease states with known hyperexcretion. Macroscopically, the isolated cholesterol- containing complex in the void volume fractions was turbid, and electron microscopy showed lipoprotein-like particles with diameters ranging from 300 to 700 A. The chemical analysis revealed median values of protein (46.0%), triglycerides (16.3%), cholesterol (8.2%), and phospholipids (29.5%) in normal subjects and comparable results in the patients with benign or malignant diseases of the kidney and the urogenital tract. Ethanolamine glycerophospholipids, phosphatidylcholine, sphingomyelin, and phosphatidylserine were the main phospholipid components. After ultracentrifugation in a CsCl gradient, the cholesterol-containing complex was found between densities 1.1 and 1.3 g/ml. By SDS polyacrylamide electrophoresis, up to 17 protein subunits in the molecular weight range of 14,000 to 87,500 were separated. Immunodiffusion studies showed in about 40% precipitin lines against anti-human albumin, but no reactions against anti-human apoHDL and anti-human apoLDL. However, immunodiffusion of the macromolecular complex against anti-liver-specific and anti-kidney- specific lipoproteins revealed single precipitin lines. In conclusion, the isolated cholesterol-containing urinary complex showed many characteristics of membrane-associated protein-lipid particles of the human kidney and even the liver. These proteolipids are the major source of urinary cholesterol in normal and disease states.

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