Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochemistry. 2007 Feb 13;46(6):1624-34.

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

Author information

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


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Chemical Society Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center