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Biochemistry. 2011 May 17;50(19):4068-76. doi: 10.1021/bi2002955. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

HDL mimetic peptide ATI-5261 forms an oligomeric assembly in solution that dissociates to monomers upon dilution.

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Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Donner Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, United States.


ATI-5261 is a 26-mer peptide that stimulates cellular cholesterol efflux with high potency. This peptide displays high aqueous solubility, despite having amphipathic α-helix structure and a broad nonpolar surface. These features suggested to us that ATI-5261 may adopt a specific form in solution, having favorable structural characteristics and dynamics. To test this, we subjected ATI-5261 to a series of biophysical studies and correlated self-association with secondary structure and activity. Gel-filtration chromatography and native gel electrophoresis indicated ATI-5261 adopted a discrete self-associated form of low molecular weight at concentrations >1 mg/mL. Formation of a discrete molecular species was verified by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), which further revealed the peptide formed a tetrameric assembly having an elongated shape and hollow central core. This assembly dissociated to individual peptide strands upon dilution to concentrations required for promoting high-affinity cholesterol efflux from cells. Moreover, the α-helical content of ATI-5261 was exceptionally high (74.1 ± 6.8%) regardless of physical form and concentration. Collectively, these results indicate ATI-5261 displays oligomeric behavior generally similar to native apolipoproteins and dissociates to monomers of high α-helical content upon dilution. Optimizing self-association behavior and secondary structure may prove useful for improving the translatability and efficacy of apolipoprotein mimetic peptides.

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