Fluorescence study of domain structure and lipid interaction of human apolipoproteins E3 and E4.
ABSTRACT: Human apolipoprotein E (apoE) isoforms exhibit different conformational stabilities and lipid-binding properties that give rise to altered cholesterol metabolism among the isoforms. Using Trp-substituted mutations and site- directed fluorescence labeling, we made a comprehensive comparison of the conformational organization of the N- and C-terminal domains and lipid interactions between the apoE3 and apoE4 isoforms. Trp fluorescence measurements for selectively Trp-substituted variants of apoE isoforms demonstrated that apoE4 adopts less stable conformations in both the N- and C-terminal domains compared to apoE3. Consistent with this, the conformational reorganization of the N-terminal helix bundle occurs at lower guanidine hydrochloride concentration in apoE4 than in apoE3 as monitored by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) from Trp residues to acrylodan attached at the N-terminal helix. Upon binding of apoE3 and apoE4 variants to egg phosphatidylcholine small unilamellar vesicles, similar changes in Trp fluorescence or FRET efficiency were observed for the isoforms, indi- cating that the opening of the N-terminal helix bundle occurs similarly in apoE3 and apoE4. Introduction of mutations into the C-terminal domain of the apoE isoforms to prevent self-association and maintain the monomeric state resulted in great increase in the rate of binding of the C-terminal helices to a lipid surface. Overall, our results demonstrate that the different conformational organizations of the N- and C-terminal domains have a minor effect on the steady-state lipid-binding behavior of apoE3 and apoE4: rather, self-association property is a critical determinant in the kinetics of lipid binding through the C-terminal helices of apoE isoforms.
Project description:Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is a 299 residue, exchangeable apolipoprotein that has essential roles in cholesterol homeostasis and reverse cholesterol transport. It is a two-domain protein with the C-terminal (CT) domain mediating protein self-association via helix-helix interactions. In humans, the APOE gene is polymorphic with three common alleles, ?2, ?3, and ?4, occurring in frequencies of ~ 5%, 77%, and 18%, respectively. Heterozygotes expressing apoE3 and apoE4 isoforms, which differ in residue at position 112 in the N-terminal domain (C112 in apoE3 and R112 in apoE4), represent the highest population of ?4 carriers, an allele highly associated with Alzheimer's disease. The objective of this study was to determine if apoE3 and apoE4 have the ability to hybridize to form a heteromer in lipid-free state. Refolding an equimolar mixture of His-apoE3 and FLAG-apoE4 (or vice versa) followed by pull-down and immunoblotting indicated formation of apoE3/apoE4 heteromers. Förster resonance energy transfer between donor fluorophore on one isoform and acceptor on the other, both located in the respective CT domains, revealed a distance of separation of ~ 46 Å between the donor/acceptor pair. Similarly, a quencher placed on one was able to mediate significant quenching of fluorescence emission on the other, indicative of spatial proximity within collisional distance between the two. ApoE3/apoE4 heteromer association was also noted in lipid-associated state in reconstituted lipoprotein particles. The possibility of heteromerization of apoE3/apoE4 bears implications in the potential mitigating role of apoE3 on the folding and physiological behavior of apoE4 and its role in maintaining cholesterol homeostasis.
Project description:Apolipoprotein (apo) E is thought to undergo conformational changes in the N-terminal helix bundle domain upon lipid binding, modulating its receptor binding activity. In this study, site-specific fluorescence labeling of the N-terminal (S94) and C-terminal (W264 or S290) helices in apoE4 by pyrene maleimide or acrylodan was employed to probe the conformational organization and lipid binding behavior of the N- and C-terminal domains. Guanidine denaturation experiments monitored by acrylodan fluorescence demonstrated the less organized, more solvent-exposed structure of the C-terminal helices compared to the N-terminal helix bundle. Pyrene excimer fluorescence together with gel filtration chromatography indicated that there are extensive intermolecular helix-helix contacts through the C-terminal helices of apoE4. Comparison of increases in pyrene fluorescence upon binding of pyrene-labeled apoE4 to egg phosphatidylcholine small unilamellar vesicles suggests a two-step lipid-binding process; apoE4 initially binds to a lipid surface through the C-terminal helices followed by the slower conformational reorganization of the N-terminal helix bundle domain. Consistent with this, fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements from Trp residues to acrylodan attached at position 94 demonstrated that upon binding to the lipid surface, opening of the N-terminal helix bundle occurs at the same rate as the increase in pyrene fluorescence of the N-terminal domain. Such a two-step mechanism of lipid binding of apoE4 is likely to apply to mostly phospholipid-covered lipoproteins such as VLDL. However, monitoring pyrene fluorescence upon binding to HDL(3) suggests that not only apoE-lipid interactions but also protein-protein interactions are important for apoE4 binding to HDL(3).
Project description:The human apolipoprotein (apo) E4 isoform, which differs from wild-type apoE3 by the single amino acid substitution C112R, is associated with elevated risk of cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s diseases, but the molecular basis for this variation between isoforms is not understood. Human apoE is a two-domain protein comprising an N-terminal helix bundle and a separately folded C-terminal region. Here, we examine the concept that the ability of the protein to bind to lipid surfaces is influenced by the stability (or readiness to unfold) of these domains. The lipid-free structures and abilities to bind to lipid and lipoprotein particles of a series of human and mouse apoE variants with varying domain stabilities and domain–domain interactions are compared. As assessed by urea denaturation, the two domains are more unstable in apoE4 than in apoE3. To distinguish the contributions of the destabilization of each domain to the greater lipid-binding ability of apoE4, the properties of the apoE4 R61T and E255A variants, which have the same helix bundle stabilities but altered C-terminal domain stabilities, are compared. In these cases, the effects on lipid-binding properties are relatively minor, indicating that the destabilization of the helix bundle domain is primarily responsible for the enhanced lipid-binding ability of apoE4. Unlike human apoE, mouse apoE behaves essentially as a single domain, and its lipid-binding characteristics are more similar to those of apoE4. Together, the results show that the overall stability of the entire apoE molecule exerts a major influence on its lipid- and lipoprotein-binding properties.
Project description:Apolipoprotein E (apoE) plays a critical role in cholesterol transport in both peripheral circulation and brain. Human apoE is a polymorphic 299-residue protein in which the less common E4 isoform differs from the major E3 isoform only by a C112R substitution. ApoE4 interacts with lipoprotein particles and with the amyloid-? peptide, and it is associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular and Alzheimer's disease. To understand the structural basis for the differences between apoE3 and E4 functionality, we used hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled with a fragment separation method and mass spectrometric analysis to compare their secondary structures at near amino acid resolution. We determined the positions, dynamics, and stabilities of the helical segments in these two proteins, in their normal tetrameric state and in mutation-induced monomeric mutants. Consistent with prior X-ray crystallography and NMR results, the N-terminal domain contains four ?-helices, 20 to 30 amino acids long. The C-terminal domain is relatively unstructured in the monomeric state but forms an ?-helix ?70 residues long in the self-associated tetrameric state. Helix stabilities are relatively low, 4 kcal/mol to 5 kcal/mol, consistent with flexibility and facile reversible unfolding. Secondary structure in the tetrameric apoE3 and E4 isoforms is similar except that some helical segments in apoE4 spanning residues 12 to 20 and 204 to 210 are unfolded. These conformational differences result from the C112R substitution in the N-terminal helix bundle and likely relate to a reduced ability of apoE4 to form tetramers, thereby increasing the concentration of functional apoE4 monomers, which gives rise to its higher lipid binding compared with apoE3.
Project description:Relative to the apolipoprotein E (apoE) E3 allele of the APOE gene, apoE4 strongly increases the risk for the development of late-onset Alzheimer's disease. However, apoE4 differs from apoE3 by only a single amino acid at position 112, which is arginine in apoE4 and cysteine in apoE3. It remains unclear why apoE3 and apoE4 are functionally different. Described here is a proposal for understanding the functional differences between these two isoforms with respect to lipid binding. A mechanism is proposed that is based on the full-length monomeric structure of the protein, on hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry data, and on the role of intrinsically disordered regions to control protein motions. It is proposed that lipid binds between the N-terminal and C-terminal domains and that separation of the two domains, along with the presence of intrinsically disordered regions, controls this process. The mechanism explains why apoE3 differs from apoE4 with respect to different lipid-binding specificities, why lipid increases the binding of apoE to its receptor, and why specific residues are conserved.
Project description:Apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4), one of three isoforms of apoE, is the major risk factor for developing late onset Alzheimer's disease. The only differences among these isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4) are single amino acid changes. Yet these proteins are functionally very different. One approach to ameliorating the effect of apoE4 with respect to Alzheimer's disease would be to find small molecular weight compounds that affect the behavior of apoE4. Few studies of this approach have been carried out in part because there was no complete structure of any full-length apoE isoform until 2011. Here, we focus on one small molecular weight compound, EZ-482, and explore the effects of its binding to apoE. Using hydrogen-deuterium exchange, we determined that EZ-482 binds to the C-terminal domains of both apoE3 and apoE4. The binding to apoE4, however, is accompanied by a unique N-terminal allosteric effect. Using fluorescence methods, we determined an apparent dissociation constant of approximately 8 ?M. Although EZ-482 binds to the C-terminal domain, it blocks heparin binding to the N-terminal domain. The residues of apoE that bind heparin are the same as those involved in apoE binding to LDL and LRP-1 receptors. The methods and the data presented here may serve as a template for future studies using small molecular weight compounds to modulate the behavior of apoE.
Project description:The inheritance of the apolipoprotein E (apoE) epsilon4 allele is a prevailing risk factor for sporadic and familial Alzheimer's disease (AD). ApoE isoforms bind directly to Alzheimer's amyloid beta (Abeta) peptides both in vitro and in vivo. Recent studies suggest that association of apoE with lipids may modulate its interaction with Abeta. We examined the binding of lipid-associated and delipidated apoE3 and apoE4 isoforms to Abeta utilizing a solid-phase binding assay and estimated the dissociation constants for the interaction of various apoE and Abeta species. Using native apoE isoforms from stably transfected RAW 264 and human embryonic kidney 293 cells, apoE3 had greater affinity than apoE4 for both Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42. Delipidation of apoE decreased its affinity for Abeta peptides by 5-10-fold and abolished the isoform-specificity. Conversely, incorporation of apoE isoforms produced by baculovirus-infected Sf9 cells into reconstituted human high-density-lipoprotein lipoparticles restored the affinity values for Abeta peptides and resulted in preferential binding of apoE3. The data demonstrate that native lipid-associated apoE3 binds to Abeta peptides with 2-3-fold higher affinity than lipid-associated apoE4. Since the isoforms' binding efficiency correlate inversely with the risk of developing late-onset AD, the results suggest a possible involvement of apoE3 in the clearance or routing out of Abeta from the central nervous system as one of the mechanisms underlying the pathology of the disease.
Project description:The Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene encodes for three isoforms in the human population (APOE2, APOE3 and APOE4). Whereas the role of APOE in lipid metabolism is well characterized, the specific metabolic signatures of the APOE isoforms during metabolic disorders, remain unclear.To elucidate the molecular underpinnings of APOE-directed metabolic alterations, we tested the hypothesis that APOE4 drives a whole-body metabolic shift toward increased lipid oxidation.We employed humanized mice in which the Apoe gene has been replaced by the human APOE*3 or APOE*4 allele to produce human APOE3 or APOE4 proteins and characterized several mechanisms of fatty-acid oxidation, lipid storage, substrate utilization and thermogenesis in those mice.We show that, whereas APOE4 mice gained less body weight and mass than their APOE3 counterparts on a Western-type diet (P<0.001), they displayed elevated insulin and homeostatic model assessment, markers of insulin resistance (P=0.004 and P=0.025, respectively). APOE4 mice also demonstrated a reduced respiratory quotient during the postprandial period (0.95±0.03 versus 1.06±0.03, P<0.001), indicating increased usage of lipids as opposed to carbohydrates as a fuel source. Finally, APOE4 mice showed increased body temperature (37.30±0.68 versus 36.9±0.58?°C, P=0.039), augmented cold tolerance and more metabolically active brown adipose tissue compared with APOE3 mice.These data suggest that APOE4 mice may resist weight gain via an APOE4-directed global metabolic shift toward lipid oxidation and enhanced thermogenesis, and may represent a critical first step in the development of APOE-directed therapies for a large percentage of the population affected by disorders with established links to APOE and metabolism.
Project description:Neurotoxic amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) accumulates in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer disease (AD). The APOE4 allele is a major risk factor for sporadic AD and has been associated with increased brain parenchymal and vascular amyloid burden. How apoE isoforms influence Abeta accumulation in the brain has, however, remained unclear. Here, we have shown that apoE disrupts Abeta clearance across the mouse blood-brain barrier (BBB) in an isoform-specific manner (specifically, apoE4 had a greater disruptive effect than either apoE3 or apoE2). Abeta binding to apoE4 redirected the rapid clearance of free Abeta40/42 from the LDL receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) to the VLDL receptor (VLDLR), which internalized apoE4 and Abeta-apoE4 complexes at the BBB more slowly than LRP1. In contrast, apoE2 and apoE3 as well as Abeta-apoE2 and Abeta-apoE3 complexes were cleared at the BBB via both VLDLR and LRP1 at a substantially faster rate than Abeta-apoE4 complexes. Astrocyte-secreted lipo-apoE2, lipo-apoE3, and lipo-apoE4 as well as their complexes with Abeta were cleared at the BBB by mechanisms similar to those of their respective lipid-poor isoforms but at 2- to 3-fold slower rates. Thus, apoE isoforms differentially regulate Abeta clearance from the brain, and this might contribute to the effects of APOE genotype on the disease process in both individuals with AD and animal models of AD.
Project description:Human apoE exhibits three major isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4) corresponding to polymorphism in the APOE gene. Total plasma apoE concentrations are closely related to these isoforms, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We aimed to describe the kinetics of apoE individual isoforms to explore the mechanisms for variable total apoE plasma concentrations. We used LC-MS/MS to discriminate between isoforms by identifying specific peptide sequences in subjects (three E2/E3, three E3/E3, and three E3/E4 phenotypes) who received a primed constant infusion of 2H3-leucine for 14 h. apoE concentrations and leucine enrichments were measured hourly in plasma. Concentrations of apoE2 were higher than apoE3, and concentrations of apoE4 were lower than apoE3. There was no difference between apoE3 and apoE4 catabolic rates and between apoE2 and apoE3 production rates (PRs), but apoE2 catabolic rates and apoE4 PRs were lower. The mechanisms leading to the difference in total plasma apoE concentrations are therefore related to contrasted kinetics of the isoforms. Production or catabolic rates are differently affected according to the specific isoforms. On these grounds, studies on the regulation of the involved biochemical pathways and the impact of pathological environments are now warranted.