RHDL modeling and the anchoring mechanism of LCAT activation.
ABSTRACT: Lecithin:cholesterol-acyl transferase (LCAT) plays a major role in cholesterol metabolism as it is the only extracellular enzyme able to esterify cholesterol. LCAT activity is required for lipoprotein remodeling and, most specifically, for the growth and maturation of HDLs. In fact, genetic alterations affecting LCAT functionality may cause a severe reduction in plasma levels of HDL-cholesterol with important clinical consequences. Although several hypotheses were formulated, the exact molecular recognition mechanism between LCAT and HDLs is still unknown. We employed a combination of structural bioinformatics procedures to deepen the insights into the HDL-LCAT interplay that promotes LCAT activation and cholesterol esterification. We have generated a data-driven model of reconstituted HDL (rHDL) and studied the dynamics of an assembled rHDL::LCAT supramolecular complex, pinpointing the conformational changes originating from the interaction between LCAT and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) that are necessary for LCAT activation. Specifically, we propose a mechanism in which the anchoring of LCAT lid to apoA-I helices allows the formation of a hydrophobic hood that expands the LCAT active site and shields it from the solvent, allowing the enzyme to process large hydrophobic substrates.
Project description:The antiatherogenic properties of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) are derived, in part, from lipidation-state-dependent structural elements that manifest at different stages of apoA-I's progression from lipid-free protein to spherical high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Previously, we reported the structure of apoA-I's N-terminus on reconstituted HDLs (rHDLs) of different sizes. We have now investigated at the single-residue level the conformational adaptations of three regions in the central domain of apoA-I (residues 119-124, 139-144, and 164-170) upon apoA-I lipid binding and HDL formation. An important function associated with these residues of apoA-I is the activation of lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), the enzyme responsible for catalyzing HDL maturation. Structural examination was performed by site-directed tryptophan fluorescence and spin-label electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopies for both the lipid-free protein and rHDL particles 7.8, 8.4, and 9.6 nm in diameter. The two methods provide complementary information about residue side chain mobility and molecular accessibility, as well as the polarity of the local environment at the targeted positions. The modulation of these biophysical parameters yielded new insight into the importance of structural elements in the central domain of apoA-I. In particular, we determined that the loosely lipid-associated structure of residues 134-145 is conserved in all rHDL particles. Truncation of this region completely abolished LCAT activation but did not significantly affect rHDL size, reaffirming the important role of this structural element in HDL function.
Project description:The aim of this study was to evaluate the vasoprotective effects of HDL isolated from carriers of LCAT deficiency, which are characterized by a selective depletion of LpA-I:A-II particles and predominance of pre? migrating HDL. HDLs were isolated from LCAT-deficient carriers and tested in vitro for their capacity to promote NO production and to inhibit vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression in cultured endothelial cells. HDLs from carriers were more effective than control HDLs in promoting eNOS activation with a gene-dose-dependent effect (<i>P</i><sub>Trend</sub> = 0.048). As a consequence, NO production induced by HDL from carriers was significantly higher than that promoted by control HDL (1.63 ± 0.24-fold vs. 1.34 ± 0.07-fold, <i>P</i> = 0.031). HDLs from carriers were also more effective than control HDLs in inhibiting the expression of VCAM-1 (homozygotes, 65.0 ± 8.6%; heterozygotes, 53.1 ± 7.2%; controls, 44.4 ± 4.1%; <i>P</i><sub>Trend</sub> = 0.0003). The increased efficiency of carrier HDL was likely due to the depletion in LpA-I:A-II particles. The in vitro findings might explain why carriers of LCAT deficiency showed flow-mediated vasodilation and plasma-soluble cell adhesion molecule concentrations comparable to controls, despite low HDL-cholesterol levels. These results indicate that selective depletion of apoA-II-containing HDL, as observed in carriers of LCAT deficiency, leads to an increased capacity of HDL to stimulate endothelial NO production, suggesting that changes in HDL apolipoprotein composition may be the target of therapeutic interventions designed to improve HDL functionality.
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:Apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) of high density lipoproteins (HDLs) is essential for the transportation of cholesterol between peripheral tissues and the liver. However, specific mutations in ApoA-I of HDLs are responsible for a late-onset systemic amyloidosis, the pathological accumulation of protein fibrils in tissues and organs. Carriers of these mutations do not exhibit increased cardiovascular disease risk despite displaying reduced levels of ApoA-I/HDL cholesterol. To explain this paradox, we show that the HDL particle profiles of patients carrying either L75P or L174S ApoA-I amyloidogenic variants show a higher relative abundance of the 8.4-nm versus 9.6-nm particles and that serum from patients, as well as reconstituted 8.4- and 9.6-nm HDL particles (rHDL), possess increased capacity to catalyze cholesterol efflux from macrophages. Synchrotron radiation circular dichroism and hydrogen-deuterium exchange revealed that the variants in 8.4-nm rHDL have altered secondary structure composition and display a more flexible binding to lipids than their native counterpart. The reduced HDL cholesterol levels of patients carrying ApoA-I amyloidogenic variants are thus balanced by higher proportion of small, dense HDL particles, and better cholesterol efflux due to altered, region-specific protein structure dynamics.
Project description:The objective of this study was to establish the role of apoA-IV, ABCA1, and LCAT in the biogenesis of apoA-IV-containing HDL (HDL-A-IV) using different mouse models. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of apoA-IV in apoA-I(-/-) mice did not change plasma lipid levels. ApoA-IV floated in the HDL2/HDL3 region, promoted the formation of spherical HDL particles as determined by electron microscopy, and generated mostly ?- and a few pre-?-like HDL subpopulations. Gene transfer of apoA-IV in apoA-I(-/-) × apoE(-/-) mice increased plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and 80% of the protein was distributed in the VLDL/IDL/LDL region. This treatment likewise generated ?- and pre-?-like HDL subpopulations. Spherical and ?-migrating HDL particles were not detectable following gene transfer of apoA-IV in ABCA1(-/-) or LCAT(-/-) mice. Coexpression of apoA-IV and LCAT in apoA-I(-/-) mice restored the formation of HDL-A-IV. Lipid-free apoA-IV and reconstituted HDL-A-IV promoted ABCA1 and scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI)-mediated cholesterol efflux, respectively, as efficiently as apoA-I and apoE. Our findings are consistent with a novel function of apoA-IV in the biogenesis of discrete HDL-A-IV particles with the participation of ABCA1 and LCAT, and may explain previously reported anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective properties of apoA-IV.
Project description:LCAT is activated by apoA-I to form cholesteryl ester. We combined two structures, phospholipase A2 (PLA2) that hydrolyzes the ester bond at the sn-2 position of oxidized (short) acyl chains of phospholipid, and bacteriophage tubulin PhuZ, as C- and N-terminal templates, respectively, to create a novel homology model for human LCAT. The juxtaposition of multiple structural motifs matching experimental data is compelling evidence for the general correctness of many features of the model: i) The N-terminal 10 residues of the model, required for LCAT activity, extend the hydrophobic binding trough for the sn-2 chain 15-20 Å relative to PLA2. ii) The topography of the trough places the ester bond of the sn-2 chain less than 5 Å from the hydroxyl of the catalytic nucleophile, S181. iii) A ?-hairpin resembling a lipase lid separates S181 from solvent. iv) S181 interacts with three functionally critical residues: E149, that regulates sn-2 chain specificity, and K128 and R147, whose mutations cause LCAT deficiency. Because the model provides a novel explanation for the complicated thermodynamic problem of the transfer of hydrophobic substrates from HDL to the catalytic triad of LCAT, it is an important step toward understanding the antiatherogenic role of HDL in reverse cholesterol transport.
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: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:We studied the significance of four hydrophobic residues within the 225-230 region of apoA-I on its structure and functions and their contribution to the biogenesis of HDL. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of an apoA-I[F225A/V227A/F229A/L230A] mutant in apoA-I?/? mice decreased plasma cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and apoA-I levels. When expressed in apoA-I?/? × apoE?/? mice, approximately 40% of the mutant apoA-I as well as mouse apoA-IV and apoB-48 appeared in the VLDL/IDL/LDL. In both mouse models, the apoA-I mutant generated small spherical particles of pre-?- and ?4-HDL mobility. Coexpression of the apoA-I mutant and LCAT increased and shifted the-HDL cholesterol peak toward lower densities, created normal ?HDL subpopulations, and generated spherical-HDL particles. Biophysical analyses suggested that the apoA-I[225-230] mutations led to a more compact folding that may limit the conformational flexibility of the protein. The mutations also reduced the ability of apoA-I to promote ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux and to activate LCAT to 31% and 66%, respectively, of the WT control. Overall, the apoA-I[225-230] mutations inhibited the biogenesis of-HDL and led to the accumulation of immature pre-?- and ?4-HDL particles, a phenotype that could be corrected by administration of LCAT.
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.