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

The effect of high density lipoprotein phospholipid acyl chain composition on the efflux of cellular free cholesterol.

High density lipoprotein (HDL) phospholipid (PL) fatty acyl chain composition has been proposed to affect the ability of HDL to participate in the first step of reverse cholesterol transport. To examine the effects of PL fatty acid chain length and degree of unsaturation in this process, reconstituted HDL (rHDL) particles were made with human apolipoprotein (apo) A-I and PL containing fatty acid chains from 14 to 18 carbons in length, which were either fully saturated or unsaturated in one or both chains. These particles were characterized structurally and for their ability to promote free (unesterified) cholesterol (FC) efflux from cells growing in culture. The discoidal rHDL particles were homogeneous and exhibited similar hydrodynamic diameters (10.4 +/- 1.0 nm) indicating that apoA-I forms similarly sized discs with a variety of PL. Measurements of particle surface charge, apoA-I alpha-helix content, and conformational stability indicated that the conformation of apoA-I varies among the particles. These conformational effects on apoA-I are consistent with the PL fluidity influencing the interaction between the amphipathic alpha-helical segments and PL acyl chains. Differential scanning calorimetry demonstrated that the physical state of the rHDL PL at 37 degrees C varied according to acyl chain length and degree of unsaturation; the FC efflux efficiencies for particles with PL in either the gel or liquid crystal states were determined. The ability of the rHDL to accept cellular FC depended on the physical state of the PL in the rHDL. Liquid crystal PL formed the most efficient FC acceptor particles exhibiting a maximal efflux velocity (Vmax) of 12-14% release of total cellular FC per h. Gel-phase PL formed inefficient rHDL acceptors with a Vmax of about 3%/h. A similar hierarchy of FC efflux efficiency was noted when either mouse L-cells or rat Fu5AH hepatoma cells were used as the FC donors. Furthermore, this hierarchy was found to be due to the characteristics of the PL and not due to variable apoA-I conformation because protein-free, small unilamellar vesicles made with the same PL exhibited similar relative efflux capabilities. Generally, the ability of a given rHDL particle to accept cellular FC was related to rHDL PL acyl chain length and degree of unsaturation; decreases in PL acyl chain length and increases in chain unsaturation tended to result in more efficient FC acceptor particles.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


  1. The effect of high density lipoprotein phospholipid acyl chain composition on the efflux of cellular free cholesterol. Davidson, W.S., Gillotte, K.L., Lund-Katz, S., Johnson, W.J., Rothblat, G.H., Phillips, M.C. J. Biol. Chem. (1995) [Pubmed]
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