A comparison of the mouse and human lipoproteome: Suitability of the mouse model for studies of human lipoproteins

Scott M. Gordon, Hailong Li, Xiaoting Zhu, Amy S. Shah, L. Jason Lu, W. Sean Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Plasma levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL) exhibit opposing associations with cardiovascular disease in human populations and mouse models have been heavily used to derive a mechanistic understanding of these relationships. In humans, recent mass spectrometry studies have revealed that the plasma lipoproteome is significantly more complex than originally appreciated. This is particularly true for HDL which contains some 90 distinct proteins, a majority of which play functional roles that go beyond those expected for simple lipid transport. Unfortunately, the mouse lipoproteome remains largely uncharacterized-a significant gap given the heavy reliance on the model. Using a gel filtration chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis that targets phospholipid-bound plasma proteins, we compared the mouse lipoproteome and its size distribution to a previous, identical human analysis. We identified 113 lipid associated proteins in the mouse. In general, the protein diversity in the LDL and HDL size ranges was similar in mice versus humans, though some distinct differences were noted. For the majority of proteins, the size distributions, that is, whether a given protein was associated with large versus small HDL particles, for example, were also similar between species. Again, however, there were clear differences exhibited by a minority of proteins that may reflect metabolic differences between species. Finally, by correlating the lipid and protein size profiles, we identified five proteins that closely track with the major HDL protein, apolipoprotein A-I across both species. Thus, mice have most of the minor proteins identified in human lipoproteins that play key roles in inflammation, innate immunity, proteolysis and its inhibition, and vitamin transport. This provides support for the continued use of the mouse as a model for many aspects of human lipoprotein metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2686-2695
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 5 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • apolipoprotein
  • high density lipoprotein
  • lipoprotein
  • mass spectrometry
  • mouse model
  • proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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