A naturally occurring isoform of the human macrophage scavenger receptor (SR-A) gene generated by alternative splicing blocks modified LDL uptake.
Gough PJ., Greaves DR., Gordon S.
The class A macrophage scavenger receptors (SR-A) are macrophage-specific trimeric integral membrane glycoproteins that have been implicated in many macrophage-associated physiological and pathological processes including atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and host defense. There are two forms of the receptor that have been previously cloned, and both are generated by alternative splicing of a single gene. Here we report the cloning of a third, alternatively spliced isoform of the human SR-A gene (type III hSR-A). The novel isoform is expressed in the human monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1 and also in primary human monocyte derived macrophages. When expressed in CHO-K1 cells, type III hSR-A does not internalize AcLDL despite having the domain shown to mediate this function in type I and II hSR-A. We show that type III protein has altered intracellular processing and is trapped within the endoplasmic reticulum, making it unable to perform endocytosis. Type III protein acts as a dominant negative isoform by reducing modified LDL uptake in CHO cells stably expressing either type I or type II SR-A. The demonstration that a naturally occurring splice variant of SR-A mRNA can act as a dominant negative isoform suggests a novel mechanism for regulation of scavenger receptor activity in macrophages.