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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A Drosophila microsomal triglyceride transfer protein homolog promotes the assembly and secretion of human apolipoprotein B. Implications for human and insect transport and metabolism.

The assembly and secretion of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in vertebrates requires apolipoprotein B (apoB) and the endoplasmic reticulum-localized cofactor, microsomal triglyceride transfer protein ( MTP). Invertebrates, particularly insects, transport the majority of their neutral and polar lipids in lipophorins; however, the assembly of lipophorin precursor particles was presumed to be MTP-independent. A Drosophila melanogaster expressed gene sequence (CG9342), displaying 23% identity with human MTP, was recently identified. When coexpressed in COS cells, CG9342 promoted the assembly and secretion of apoB34 and apoB41 (N-terminal 34 and 41% of human apoB). The apoB34-containing particles assembled by human MTP and CG9342 displayed similar peak densities of approximately 1.169 g/ml and similar lipid compositions. However, CG9342 displayed differential sensitivities to two inhibitors of human MTP and low vesicle-based lipid transfer activity, in vitro. In addition, important predicted structural distinctions exist between the human and Drosophila proteins suggesting overlapping but not identical functional roles. We conclude that CG9342 and human MTP are orthologs that share only a subset of functions, consistent with known differences in intracellular and extracellular aspects of vertebrate and invertebrate lipid transport and metabolism.[1]


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