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Chembiochem. 2014 Dec 15;15(18):2693-702. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201402407. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Generic structures of cytotoxic liprotides: nano-sized complexes with oleic acid cores and shells of disordered proteins.

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Department of Chemistry and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, 8000 Aarhus C (Denmark).


The cytotoxic complex formed between α-lactalbumin and oleic acid (OA) has inspired many studies on protein-fatty acid complexes, but structural insight remains sparse. After having used small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to obtain structural information, we present a new, generic structural model of cytotoxic protein-oleic acid complexes, which we have termed liprotides (lipids and partially denatured proteins). Twelve liprotides formed from seven structurally unrelated proteins and prepared by different procedures all displayed core-shell structures, each with a micellar OA core and a shell consisting of flexible, partially unfolded protein, which stabilizes the OA micelle. The common structure explains similar effects exerted on cells by different liprotides and is consistent with a cargo off-loading of the OA into cell membranes.


lipids; micelles; protein folding; protein structures; protein-protein interactions

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