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Biochemistry. 2007 Feb 13;46(6):1624-34.

Conformation and lipid binding of a C-terminal (198-243) peptide of human apolipoprotein A-I.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118-2526, USA.

Abstract

Human apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) is the principle apolipoprotein of high-density lipoproteins that are critically involved in reverse cholesterol transport. The intrinsically flexibility of apoA-I has hindered studies of the structural and functional details of the protein. Our strategy is to study peptide models representing different regions of apoA-I. Our previous report on [1-44]apoA-I demonstrated that this N-terminal region is unstructured and folds into approximately 60% alpha-helix with a moderate lipid binding affinity. We now present details of the conformation and lipid interaction of a C-terminal 46-residue peptide, [198-243]apoA-I, encompassing putative helix repeats 10 and 9 and the second half of repeat 8 from the C-terminus of apoA-I. Far-ultraviolet circular dichroism spectra show that [198-243]apoA-I is also unfolded in aqueous solution. However, self-association induces approximately 50% alpha-helix in the peptide. The self-associated peptide exists mainly as a tetramer, as determined by native electrophoresis, cross-linking with glutaraldehyde, and unfolding data from circular dichroism (CD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). In the presence of a number of lipid-mimicking detergents, above their CMC, approximately 60% alpha-helix was induced in the peptide. In contrast, SDS, an anionic lipid-mimicking detergent, induced helical folding in the peptide at a concentration of approximately 0.003% (approximately 100 microM), approximately 70-fold below its typical CMC (0.17-0.23% or 6-8 mM). Both monomeric and tetrameric peptide can solubilize dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) liposomes and fold into approximately 60% alpha-helix. Fractionation by density gradient ultracentrifugation and visualization by negative staining electromicroscopy demonstrated that the peptide binds to DMPC with a high affinity to form at least two sizes of relatively homogeneous discoidal HDL-like particles depending on the initial lipid:peptide ratio. The characteristics (lipid:peptide weight ratio, diameter, and density) of both complexes are similar to those of plasma A-I/DMPC complexes formed under similar conditions: small discoidal complexes (approximately 3:1 weight ratio, approximately 110 A, and approximately 1.10 g/cm3) formed at an initial 1:1 weight ratio and larger discoidal complexes (approximately 4.6:1 weight ratio, approximately 165 A, and approximately 1.085 g/cm3) formed at initial 4:1 weight ratio. The cross-linking data for the peptide on the complexes of two sizes is consistent with the calculated peptide numbers per particle. Compared to the approximately 100 A disk-like complex formed by the N-terminal peptide in which helical structure was insufficient to cover the disk edge by a single belt, the compositions of these two types of complexes formed by the C-terminal peptide are more consistent with a "double belt" model, similar to that proposed for full-length apoA-I. Thus, our data provide direct evidence that this C-terminal region of apoA-I is responsible for the self-association of apoA-I, and this C-terminal peptide model can mimic the interaction with the phospholipid of plasma apoA-I to form two sizes of homogeneous discoidal complexes and thus may be responsible for apoA-I function in the formation and maintenance of HDL subspecies in plasma.

PMID:
17279626
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2518689
Free PMC Article

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