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Correlation of structural stability with functional remodeling of high-density lipoproteins: the importance of being disordered.

ABSTRACT: High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) are protein-lipid assemblies that remove excess cell cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis. HDLs are stabilized by kinetic barriers that decelerate protein dissociation and lipoprotein fusion. We propose that similar barriers modulate metabolic remodeling of plasma HDLs; hence, changes in particle composition that destabilize HDLs and accelerate their denaturation may accelerate their metabolic remodeling. To test this notion, we correlate existing reports on HDL-mediated cell cholesterol efflux and esterification, which are obligatory early steps in cholesterol removal, with our kinetic studies of HDL stability. The results support our hypothesis and show that factors accelerating cholesterol efflux and esterification in model discoidal lipoproteins (including reduced protein size, reduced fatty acyl chain length, and/or increased level of cis unsaturation) destabilize lipoproteins and accelerate their fusion and apolipoprotein dissociation. Oxidation studies of plasma spherical HDLs show a similar trend: mild oxidation by Cu(2+) or OCl(-) accelerates cell cholesterol efflux, protein dissociation, and HDL fusion, while extensive oxidation inhibits these reactions. Consequently, moderate destabilization may be beneficial for HDL functions by facilitating insertion of cholesterol and lipophilic enzymes, promoting dissociation of lipid-poor apolipoproteins, which are primary acceptors of cell cholesterol, and thereby accelerating HDL metabolism. Therefore, HDL stability must be delicately balanced to maintain the structural integrity of the lipoprotein assembly and ensure structural specificity necessary for interactions of HDL with its metabolic partners, while facilitating rapid HDL remodeling and turnover at key junctures of cholesterol transport. The inverse correlation between HDL stability and remodeling illustrates the functional importance of structural disorder in macromolecular assemblies stabilized by kinetic barriers.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2822716 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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