Objectives: Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] can be oxidized by copper in vitro in a way comparable to low-density lipoprotein (LDL). We sought to determine whether the susceptibility of Lp(a) to oxidation is correlated with the susceptibility of autologous heterogeneous LDL, with apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] molecular size, or with both factors. Design and Methods: We examined shifts in electrophoretic mobility of Lp(a) and LDL caused by copper oxidation in plasma samples from 81 healthy men. The effect of copper oxidation on different-sized apo(a) was also evaluated. Results: There was a close correlation between the relative electrophoretic mobilities of oxidized Lp(a) and oxidized LDL in subjects, especially with small-sized apo(a) (n = 25, r = 0.72, p < 0.0001). Oxidative processes in Lp(a) resulted in the degradation of large-, but not small-sized apo(a). Conclusions: The susceptibility of Lp(a) to oxidation is correlated with that of autologous LDL. Large-sized apo(a) may be involved in the Lp(a) oxidation. © 2003 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. All rights reserved.
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