Cells of an epidermoid cancer cell line of human uterine cervix, which possessed a high-affinity, specific receptor for low density lipoprotein (LDL), internalized and degraded [125I]iodo-LDL at a very low rate. In these cells, LDL did not stimulate cholesteryl ester synthesis, nor did it suppress 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase to the same extent as in the control cells. The binding of [125I]iodo-LDL by these cells was not decreased by preincubation of the cells in medium containing LDL. Using ferritin-labeled LDL (F-LDL) and electron microscopy, it was determined that at 4 degrees C the cells bound F-LDL in the same way as other cancer cell lines that did not have a defect in internalization. When these cells were warmed to 37 degrees C the F-LDL remained on the surface, whereas in cells from control cancer cell lines the F-LDL was internalized and was no longer observed on the cell surface. On the basis of the results of these studies it is concluded that cells of this epidermoid cancer cell line have a defective ability to internalize LDL.

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