The Journal of biological chemistry

Surface tensiometry of apolipoprotein B domains at lipid interfaces suggests a new model for the initial steps in triglyceride-rich lipoprotein assembly.

PMID 24515109


Apolipoprotein B (apoB) is the principal protein component of triacylglyceride (TAG)-rich lipoproteins, including chylomicrons and very low density lipoprotein, which is the precursor to LDL (the "bad cholesterol"). TAG-rich lipoprotein assembly is initiated by the N-terminal βα1 superdomain of apoB, which co-translationally binds and remodels the luminal leaflet of the rough endoplasmic reticulum. The βα1 superdomain contains four domains and is predicted to interact directly with lipids. Using drop tensiometry, we examined the interfacial properties of the α-helical and C-sheet domains and several subdomains to establish a detailed structure-function relationship at the lipid/water interface. The adsorption, stress response, exchangeability, and pressure (Π)-area relationship were studied at both triolein/water and triolein/1-palmitoyl, 2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine/water interfaces that mimic physiological environments. The α-helical domain spontaneously adsorbed to a triolein/water interface and formed a viscoelastic surface. It was anchored to the surface by helix 6, and the other helices were ejected and/or remodeled on the surface as a function of surface pressure. The C-sheet instead formed an elastic film on a triolein/water interface and was irreversibly anchored to the lipid surface, which is consistent with the behavior of amphipathic β-strands. When both domains were adsorbed together on the surface, the C-sheet shielded a portion of the α-helical domain from the surface, which retained its globular structure. Overall, the unique secondary and tertiary structures of the N-terminal domains of apoB support the intrinsic capability of co-translational lipid recruitment. The evidence presented here allows the construction of a detailed model of the initiation of TAG-rich lipoprotein assembly.

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