Very low density lipoprotein is the lipoprotein form of circulating endogenous lipids. It is made in the liver and has a lower lipid to protein ratio than chylomicrons.
VLDL has a half-life of less than one hour.
It contains approximately 50% triglyceride which is then extracted by the action of lipoprotein lipase by extrahepatic cells. It is synthesised with apolipoprotein B (apo B100) in its membrane and acquires apolipoprotein C during transit. The latter protein permits the functioning of lipoprotein lipase. Protein makes up approximately 9% of its mass. The proportion by mass of VLDL that is cholesterol or cholesterol esters is approximately 20%.
With progressive loss of triglyceride, via lipoprotein lipase, the VLDL particle is converted into intermediate and then low density lipoprotein.
Last reviewed 12/2021