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J Biol Chem. 2013 Feb 15;288(7):4854-66. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.436709. Epub 2013 Jan 3.

Small-angle X-ray scattering of apolipoprotein A-IV reveals the importance of its termini for structural stability.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267, USA.


ApoA-IV is an amphipathic protein that can emulsify lipids and has been linked to protective roles against cardiovascular disease and obesity. We previously reported an x-ray crystal structure of apoA-IV that was truncated at its N and C termini. Here, we have extended this work by demonstrating that self-associated states of apoA-IV are stable and can be structurally studied using small-angle x-ray scattering. Both the full-length monomeric and dimeric forms of apoA-IV were examined, with the dimer showing an elongated rod core with two nodes at opposing ends. The monomer is roughly half the length of the dimer with a single node. Small-angle x-ray scattering visualization of several deletion mutants revealed that removal of both termini can have substantial conformational effects throughout the molecule. Additionally, the F334A point mutation, which we previously showed increases apoA-IV lipid binding, also exhibited large conformational effects on the entire dimer. Merging this study's low-resolution structural information with the crystal structure provides insight on the conformation of apoA-IV as a monomer and as a dimer and further defines that a clasp mechanism may control lipid binding and, ultimately, protein function.

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