Dynamics of activation of lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase by apolipoprotein A-I.
ABSTRACT: The product of transesterification of phospholipid acyl chains and unesterified cholesterol (UC) by the enzyme lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) is cholesteryl ester (CE). Activation of LCAT by apolipoprotein (apo) A-I on nascent (discoidal) high-density lipoproteins (HDL) is essential for formation of mature (spheroidal) HDL during the antiatherogenic process of reverse cholesterol transport. Here we report all-atom and coarse-grained (CG) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of HDL particles that have major implications for mechanisms of LCAT activation. Both the all-atom and CG simulations provide support for a model in which the helix 5/5 domains of apoA-I create an amphipathic "presentation tunnel" that exposes methyl ends of acyl chains at the bilayer center to solvent. Further, CG simulations show that UC also becomes inserted with high efficiency into the amphipathic presentation tunnel with its hydroxyl moiety (UC-OH) exposed to solvent; these results are consistent with trajectory analyses of the all-atom simulations showing that UC is being concentrated in the vicinity of the presentation tunnel. Finally, consistent with known product inhibition of CE-rich HDL by CE, CG simulations of CE-rich spheroidal HDL indicate partial blockage of the amphipathic presentation tunnel by CE. These results lead us to propose the following working hypothesis. After attachment of LCAT to discoidal HDL, the helix 5/5 domains in apoA-I form amphipathic presentation tunnels for migration of hydrophobic acyl chains and amphipathic UC from the bilayer to the phospholipase A2-like and esterification active sites of LCAT, respectively. This hypothesis is currently being tested by site-directed mutagenesis.
Project description:ApoA-I activates LCAT that converts lipoprotein cholesterol to cholesteryl ester (CE). Molecular dynamic simulations suggested earlier that helices 5 of two antiparallel apoA-I molecules on discoidal HDL form an amphipathic tunnel for migration of acyl chains and unesterified cholesterol to the active sites of LCAT. Our recent crystal structure of ?(185-243)apoA-I showed the tunnel formed by helices 5/5, with two positively charged residues arginine 123 positioned at the edge of the hydrophobic tunnel. We hypothesized that these uniquely positioned residues Arg123 are poised for interaction with fatty acids produced by LCAT hydrolysis of the sn-2 chains of phosphatidylcholine, thus positioning the fatty acids for esterification to cholesterol. To test the importance of Arg123 for LCAT phospholipid hydrolysis and CE formation, we generated apoA-I[R123A] and apoA-I[R123E] mutants and made discoidal HDL with the mutants and WT apoA-I. Neither mutation of Arg123 changed the particle composition or size, or the protein conformation or stability. However, both mutations of Arg123 significantly reduced LCAT catalytic efficiency and the apparent Vmax for CE formation without affecting LCAT phospholipid hydrolysis. A control mutation, apoA-I[R131A], did not affect LCAT phospholipid hydrolysis or CE formation. These data suggest that Arg123 of apoA-I on discoidal HDL participates in LCAT-mediated cholesterol esterification.
Project description:LCAT is an enzyme responsible for the formation of cholesteryl esters from unesterified cholesterol (UC) and phospholipid (PL) molecules in HDL particles. However, it is poorly understood how LCAT interacts with lipoproteins and how apoA-I activates it. Here we have studied the interactions between LCAT and lipids through molecular simulations. In addition, we studied the binding of LCAT to apoA-I-derived peptides, and their effect on LCAT lipid association-utilizing experiments. Results show that LCAT anchors itself to lipoprotein surfaces by utilizing nonpolar amino acids located in the membrane-binding domain and the active site tunnel opening. Meanwhile, the membrane-anchoring hydrophobic amino acids attract cholesterol molecules next to them. The results also highlight the role of the lid-loop in the lipid binding and conformation of LCAT with respect to the lipid surface. The apoA-I-derived peptides from the LCAT-activating region bind to LCAT and promote its lipid surface interactions, although some of these peptides do not bind lipids individually. The transfer free-energy of PL from the lipid bilayer into the active site is consistent with the activation energy of LCAT. Furthermore, the entry of UC molecules into the active site becomes highly favorable by the acylation of SER181.
Project description:In the present study we have used adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of apoA-I (apolipoprotein A-I) mutants in apoA-I-/- mice to investigate how structural mutations in apoA-I affect the biogenesis and the plasma levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein). The natural mutants apoA-I(R151C)Paris, apoA-I(R160L)Oslo and the bioengineered mutant apoA-I(R149A) were secreted efficiently from cells in culture. Their capacity to activate LCAT (lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase) in vitro was greatly reduced, and their ability to promote ABCA1 (ATP-binding cassette transporter A1)-mediated cholesterol efflux was similar to that of WT (wild-type) apoA-I. Gene transfer of the three mutants in apoA-I-/- mice generated aberrant HDL phenotypes. The total plasma cholesterol of mice expressing the apoA-I(R160L)Oslo, apoA-I(R149A) and apoA-I(R151C)Paris mutants was reduced by 78, 59 and 61% and the apoA-I levels were reduced by 68, 64 and 55% respectively, as compared with mice expressing the WT apoA-I. The CE (cholesteryl ester)/TC (total cholesterol) ratio of HDL was decreased and the apoA-I was distributed in the HDL3 region. apoA-I(R160L)Oslo and apoA-I(R149A) promoted the formation of prebeta1 and alpha4-HDL subpopulations and gave a mixture of discoidal and spherical particles. apoA-I(R151C)Paris generated subpopulations of different sizes that migrate between prebeta and alpha-HDL and formed mostly spherical and a few discoidal particles. Simultaneous treatment of mice with adenovirus expressing any of the three mutants and human LCAT normalized plasma apoA-I, HDL cholesterol levels and the CE/TC ratio. It also led to the formation of spherical HDL particles consisting mostly of alpha-HDL subpopulations of larger size. The correction of the aberrant HDL phenotypes by treatment with LCAT suggests a potential therapeutic intervention for HDL abnormalities that result from specific mutations in apoA-I.
Project description:HDL protects against vascular disease by accepting free cholesterol from macrophage foam cells in the artery wall. This pathway is critically dependent on lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), which rapidly converts cholesterol to cholesteryl ester. The physiological activator of LCAT is apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), the major HDL protein. However, cholesterol removal is compromised if apoA-I is exposed to reactive intermediates. In humans with established cardiovascular disease, myeloperoxidase (MPO) oxidizes HDL, and oxidation by MPO impairs apoA-I's ability to activate LCAT in vitro. Because a single methionine residue in apoA-I, Met-148, resides near the center of the protein's LCAT activation domain, we determined whether its oxidation by MPO could account for the loss of LCAT activity. Mass spectrometric analysis demonstrated that oxidation of Met-148 to methionine sulfoxide associated quantitatively with loss of LCAT activity in both discoidal HDL and HDL(3), the enzyme's physiological substrates. Reversing oxidation with methionine sulfoxide reductase restored HDL's ability to activate LCAT. Discoidal HDL prepared with apoA-I containing a Met-148-->Leu mutation was significantly resistant to inactivation by MPO. Based on structural data in the literature, we propose that oxidation of Met-148 disrupts apoA-I's central loop, which overlaps the LCAT activation domain. These observations implicate oxidation of a single Met in apoA-I in impaired LCAT activation, a critical early step in reverse cholesterol transport.
Project description:A key step in plasma HDL maturation from discoidal to spherical particles is the esterification of cholesterol to cholesteryl ester, which is catalyzed by LCAT. HDL-like lipoproteins in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are also spherical, whereas nascent lipoprotein particles secreted from astrocytes are discoidal, suggesting that LCAT may play a similar role in the CNS. In plasma, apoA-I is the main LCAT activator, while in the CNS, it is believed to be apoE. apoE is directly involved in the pathological progression of Alzheimer's disease, including facilitating ?-amyloid (A?) clearance from the brain, a function that requires its lipidation by ABCA1. However, whether apoE particle maturation by LCAT is also required for A? clearance is unknown. Here we characterized the impact of LCAT deficiency on CNS lipoprotein metabolism and amyloid pathology. Deletion of LCAT from APP/PS1 mice resulted in a pronounced decrease of apoA-I in plasma that was paralleled by decreased apoA-I levels in CSF and brain tissue, whereas apoE levels were unaffected. Furthermore, LCAT deficiency did not increase A? or amyloid in APP/PS1 LCAT(-/-) mice. Finally, LCAT expression and plasma activity were unaffected by age or the onset of Alzheimer's-like pathology in APP/PS1 mice. Taken together, these results suggest that apoE-containing discoidal HDLs do not require LCAT-dependent maturation to mediate efficient A? clearance.
Project description:Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) catalyzes a critical step of reverse cholesterol transport by esterifying cholesterol in high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles. LCAT is activated by apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I), which forms a double belt around HDL, however the manner in which LCAT engages its lipidic substrates and ApoA-I in HDL is poorly understood. Here, we used negative stain electron microscopy, crosslinking, and hydrogen-deuterium exchange studies to refine the molecular details of the LCAT-HDL complex. Our data are consistent with LCAT preferentially binding to the edge of discoidal HDL near the boundary between helix 5 and 6 of ApoA-I in a manner that creates a path from the lipid bilayer to the active site of LCAT. Our results provide not only an explanation why LCAT activity diminishes as HDL particles mature, but also direct support for the anti-parallel double belt model of HDL, with LCAT binding preferentially to the helix 4/6 region.
Project description:We have investigated the ability of apoE (apolipoprotein E) to participate in the biogenesis of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) particles in vivo using adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in apoA-I-/- (apolipoprotein A-I) or ABCA1-/- (ATP-binding cassette A1) mice. Infection of apoA-I-/- mice with 2x10(9) pfu (plaque-forming units) of an apoE4-expressing adenovirus increased both HDL and the triacylglycerol-rich VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein)/IDL (intermediate-density lipoprotein)/LDL (low-density lipoprotein) fraction and generated discoidal HDL particles. ABCA1-/- mice treated similarly failed to form HDL particles, suggesting that ABCA1 is essential for the generation of apoE-containing HDL. Combined infection of apoA-I-/- mice with a mixture of adenoviruses expressing both apoE4 (2x10(9) pfu) and human LCAT (lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase) (5x10(8) pfu) cleared the triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins, increased HDL and converted the discoidal HDL into spherical HDL. Similarly, co-infection of apoE-/- mice with apoE4 and human LCAT corrected the hypercholesterolaemia and generated spherical particles, suggesting that LCAT is essential for the maturation of apoE-containing HDL. Overall, the findings indicate that apoE has a dual functionality. In addition to its documented functions in the clearance of triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins, it participates in the biogenesis of HDL-sized apoE-containing particles. HDL particles generated by this pathway may account at least for some of the atheroprotective functions of apoE.
Project description:INTRODUCTION. We have studied the functions of truncated apoE4 forms in vitro and in vivo in order to identify the domains of apoE4 required for the biogenesis of apoE-containing high-density lipoprotein (HDL). RESULTS. We have found that apoE4-185, -202, -229, or -259 could promote ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1)-dependent cholesterol efflux in vitro, although less efficiently than Full-length apoE4, and had diminished capacity to activate lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT). Formation of HDL in vivo was assessed by various methods following gene transfer in apolipoprotein A-I(-/-) × apoE(-/-) mice. Fast protein liquid chromatography of plasma showed that the truncated apoE forms, except apoE4-185, generated an apoE-containing HDL peak. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of plasma and electron microscopy showed that truncated apoE forms generated distinct HDL subpopulations and formed discoidal HDL particles which could be converted to spherical by co-administration of truncated apoE4-202 and LCAT. CONCLUSION. Overall, the in-vivo and in-vitro data are consistent and indicate that apoE4-185 is the shortest truncated form that supports formation of discoidal apoE4-containing HDL particles.
Project description:To develop a detailed double belt model for discoidal HDL, we previously scored inter-helical salt bridges between all possible registries of two stacked antiparallel amphipathic helical rings of apolipoprotein (apo) A-I. The top score was the antiparallel apposition of helix 5 with 5 followed closely by appositions of helix 5 with 4 and helix 5 with 6. The rationale for the current study is that, for each of the optimal scores, a pair of identical residues can be identified in juxtaposition directly on the contact edge between the two antiparallel helical belts of apoA-I. Further, these residues are always in the '9th position' in one of the eighteen 11-mer repeats that make up the lipid-associating domain of apoA-I. To illustrate our terminology, 129j (LL5/5) refers to the juxtaposition of the C? atoms of G129 (in a '9th position') in the pairwise helix 5 domains. We reasoned that if identical residues in the double belt juxtapositions were mutated to a cysteine and kept under reducing conditions during disc formation, we would have a precise method for determining registration in discoidal HDL by formation of a disulfide-linked apoA-I homodimer. Using this approach, we conclude that 129j (LL5/5) is the major rotamer orientation for double belt HDL and propose that the small ubiquitous gap between the pairwise helix 5 portions of the double belt in larger HDL discoidal particles is significantly dynamic to hinge off the disc edge under certain conditions, e.g., in smaller particles or perhaps following binding of the enzyme LCAT. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Advances in High Density Lipoprotein Formation and Metabolism: A Tribute to John F. Oram (1945-2010).
Project description:The K146N/R147W substitutions in apoE3 were described in patients with a dominant form of type III hyperlipoproteinemia. The effects of these mutations on the in vivo functions of apoE were studied by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in different mouse models. Expression of the apoE3[K146N/R147W] mutant in apoE-deficient (apoE(-/-)) or apoA-I-deficient (apoA-I(-/-))×apoE(-/-) mice exacerbated the hypercholesterolemia and increased plasma apoE and triglyceride levels. In apoE(-/-) mice, the apoE3[K146N/R147W] mutant displaced apoA-I from the VLDL/LDL/HDL region and caused the accumulation of discoidal apoE-containing HDL. The WT apoE3 cleared the cholesterol of apoE(-/-) mice without induction of hypertriglyceridemia and promoted formation of spherical HDL. A unique property of the truncated apoE3[K146N/R147W]202 mutant, compared with similarly truncated apoE forms, is that it did not correct the hypercholesterolemia. The contribution of LPL and LCAT in the induction of the dyslipidemia was studied. Treatment of apoE(-/-) mice with apoE3[K146N/R147W] and LPL corrected the hypertriglyceridemia, but did not prevent the formation of discoidal HDL. Treatment with LCAT corrected hypertriglyceridemia and generated spherical HDL. The combined data indicate that the K146N/R147W substitutions convert the full-length and the truncated apoE3[K146N/R147W] mutant into a dominant negative ligand that prevents receptor-mediated remnant clearance, exacerbates the dyslipidemia, and inhibits the biogenesis of HDL.