We have examined whether oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) affects the function of tissue-factor-pathway inhibitor (TFPI), an anti-coagulant regulator in the extrinsic pathway of coagulation, in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Treatment of culture medium of HUVEC with ox-LDL, but not with native or acetylated LDLs, drastically decreased the reactivity of TFPI to its antibody specific for Kunitz domain 1 or one specific for the conformation between Kunitz 1 and 2 of TFPI, and caused a rapid, concentration-dependent decrease in the functional activity of TFPI to inhibit Factor X activation. When 5ng of recombinant TFPI (rTFPI) was mixed with 10µg of ox-LDL for 30min, almost all of the rTFPI was detected in the ox-LDL fraction and no free rTFPI was observed on non-denaturing PAGE, in contrast with the virtual absence of rTFPI in the native LDL fraction. Ox-LDL decreased the antigen level of TFPI in the lysate of HUVEC in a time-dependent manner. It did not affect the mRNA level, but ox-LDL-dependent reduction of the TFPI antigen level in HUVEC was reversed by the simultaneous treatment of ox-LDL with bafilomycin A1, an inhibitor of the lysosomal proton pump. These results indicate that ox-LDL lessens the anti-coagulant function of TFPI through both oxidative modification and accelerated degradation of the molecule outside and inside HUVEC respectively.

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