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J Biol Chem. 2007 Mar 30;282(13):9713-21. Epub 2007 Jan 30.

The structure of apolipoprotein A-II in discoidal high density lipoproteins.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45237, USA.


It is well accepted that high levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL) reduce the risk of atherosclerosis in humans. Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) and apoA-II are the first and second most common protein constituents of HDL. Unlike apoA-I, detailed structural models for apoA-II in HDL are not available. Here, we present a structural model of apoA-II in reconstituted HDL (rHDL) based on two well established experimental approaches: chemical cross-linking/mass spectrometry (MS) and internal reflection infrared spectroscopy. Homogeneous apoA-II rHDL were reacted with a cross-linking agent to link proximal lysine residues. Upon tryptic digestion, cross-linked peptides were identified by electrospray mass spectrometry. 14 cross-links were identified and confirmed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Infrared spectroscopy indicated a beltlike molecular arrangement for apoA-II in which the protein helices wrap around the lipid bilayer rHDL disc. The cross-links were then evaluated on three potential belt arrangements. The data clearly refute a parallel model but support two antiparallel models, especially a "double hairpin" form. These models form the basis for understanding apoA-II structure in more complex HDL particles.

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