Apolipoprotein A1 Forms 5/5 and 5/4 Antiparallel Dimers in Human High-density Lipoprotein

Academic Article


  • Apolipoprotein A1 (APOA1), the major protein of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), contains 10 helical repeats that play key roles in protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions. The current structural model for HDL proposes that APOA1 forms an antiparallel dimer in which helix 5 in monomer 1 associates with helix 5 in monomer 2 along a left-left (LL5/5) interface, forming a protein complex with a 2-fold axis of symmetry centered on helix 5. However, computational studies suggest that other orientations are possible. To test this idea, we used a zero-length chemical cross-linking reagent that forms covalent bonds between closely apposed basic and acidic residues. Using proteolytic digestion and tandem mass spectrometry, we identified amino acids in the central region of the antiparallel APOA1 dimer of HDL that were in close contact. As predicted by the current model, we found six intermolecular cross-links that were consistent with the antiparallel LL5/5 registry. However, we also identified three intermolecular cross-links that were consistent with the antiparallel LL5/4 registry. The LL5/5 is the major structural conformation of the two complexes in both reconstituted discoidal HDL particles and in spherical HDL from human plasma. Molecular dynamic simulations suggest that that LL5/5 and LL5/4 APOA1 dimers possess similar free energies of dimerization, with LL5/5 having the lowest free energy. Our observations indicate that phospholipidated APOA1 in HDL forms different antiparallel dimers that could play distinct roles in enzyme regulation, assembly of specific protein complexes, and the functional properties of HDL in humans.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 18440438
  • Author List

  • He Y; Song HD; Anantharamaiah GM; Palgunachari MN; Bornfeldt KE; Segrest JP; Heinecke JW
  • Start Page

  • 854
  • End Page

  • 864
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 5