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J Biol Chem. 1983 Mar 25;258(6):4037-44.

Proteolytic processing of human preproapolipoprotein A-I. A proposed defect in the conversion of pro A-I to A-I in Tangier's disease.


The primary translation product of human intestinal apolipoprotein A-I mRNA was isolated from wheat germ and ascites cell-free translation systems. Comparison of its NH2-terminal sequence with that of plasma high density lipoprotein-associated A-I showed that it is initially synthesized as a preproprotein. Like rat preproapolipoprotein A-I, it contains an 18-amino acid prepeptide and a 6-amino acid propeptide. The highly unusual COOH-terminal Gln-Gln dipeptide present in the rat pro-segment is also represented at the same position in the human sequence. The functional division of the 24-amino acid NH2-terminal extention into pro- and presegments was verified by finding that the stable intracellular form of A-I in a human hepatoma cell line was the proprotein. Edman degradation of radiolabeled intracellular and extracellular A-I indicated that this apolipoprotein was secreted without proteolytic cleavage of its hexapeptide prosegment. Therefore, it appears that apolipoprotein A-I undergoes an additional proteolytic processing step before it is fully integrated into plasma high density lipoprotein. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of purified proapolipoprotein A-I isolated from the hepatocyte cell culture media indicated that it corresponds to isoforms 2 and 3, the basic A-I isoproteins which are the precursors of plasma A-I and the predominant plasma A-I isoforms found in patients with Tangier's disease (Zannis, V. I., Lees, A. M., Lees, R. S., and Breslow, J. L. (1982) J. Biol. Chem., 257, 4978-4986). Therefore this pathologic state probably arises from a defect in the conversion of proapolipoprotein A-I to apolipoprotein A-I.

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