Effects of chronic ethanol consumption on sterol transfer proteins in mouse brain

Sean C. Myers-Payne, Robert N. Fontaine, Amy Loeffler, Lixia Pu, A. M. Rao, A. B. Kier, W. Gibson Wood, Friedhelm Schroeder

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38 Scopus citations


Although lipids are essential to brain function, almost nothing is known of lipid transfer proteins in the brain. Early reports indicates cross- reactivity of brain proteins with antisera against two native liver sterol transfer proteins, sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) and the liver form of fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP). Heroin, polyclonal antibodies raised against the recombinant liver sterol transfer proteins SCP-2 and L-FABP were used to identify the lipid transfer proteins in the brains of alcohol- treated and control mice. L-FABP was not detectable in brain of either control or chronic ethanol-treated mice. In contrast, SCP-2 not only was present, but its level was significantly (p < 0.05) increased 23 and 50%, respectively, in brain homogenates and synaptosomes of mice exposed to alcohol. To determine whether antibodies against the recombinant liver SCP-2 reflected true levels of SCP-2 in brain, the cDNA sequence for brain SCP-2 was isolated from a brain cDNA library. The mouse brain SCP-2 sequence was 99.99% identical to the mouse liver SCP-2 sequence. The translated sequence differed by only one amino acid, and the replacement was conservative. Thus, unlike the fatty acid binding proteins, the SCP-2 moieties of brain and liver are essentially identical. Polyclonal antibodies against acyl-CoA binding protein, a lipid-binding protein that does not bind or transfer sterol, showed that increased levels of brain SCP-2 with chronic ethanol consumption did not represent a general increase in content of all lipid transfer proteins. Changes in the amount of SCP-2 may contribute to membrane tolerance to ethanol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996


  • Alcohol
  • Brain
  • Sequence
  • Sterol carrier protein-2
  • cDNA


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