Impact of genetic deletion of platform apolipoproteins on the size distribution of the murine lipoproteome

Scott M. Gordon, Hailong Li, Xiaoting Zhu, Patrick Tso, Catherine A. Reardon, Amy S. Shah, L. Jason Lu, W. Sean Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given their association with cardiovascular disease protection, there has been intense interest in understanding the biology of high density lipoproteins (HDL). HDL is actually a family of diverse particle types, each made up of discrete - but as yet undetermined – combinations of proteins drawn from up to 95 lipophilic plasma proteins. The abundant apolipoproteins (apo) of the A class (apoA-I, apoA-II and apoA-IV) have been proposed to act as organizing platforms for auxiliary proteins, but this concept has not been systematically evaluated. We assessed the impact of genetic knock down of each platform protein on the particle size distribution of auxiliary HDL proteins. Loss of apoA-I or apoA-II massively reduced HDL lipids and changed the plasma size pattern and/or abundance of several plasma proteins. Surprisingly though, many HDL proteins were not affected, suggesting they assemble on lipid particles in the absence of apoA-I or apoA-II. In contrast, apoA-IV ablation had minor effects on plasma lipids and proteins, suggesting that it forms particles that largely exclude other apolipoproteins. Overall, the data indicate that distinct HDL subpopulations exist that do not contain, nor depend on, apoA-I, apoA-II or apoA-IV and these contribute substantially to the proteomic diversity of HDL. Biological significance Plasma levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL) are inversely correlated with cardiovascular disease. These particles are becoming known as highly heterogeneous entities that have diverse compositions and functions that may impact disease. Unfortunately, we know little about the forces that maintain the composition of each particle in plasma. It has been suggested that certain ‘scaffold’ proteins, such as apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, apoA-II and apoA-IV, may act as organizing centers for the docking of myriad accessory proteins. To test this hypothesis, we took advantage of the genetic tractability of the mouse model and ablated these three proteins individually. We then tracked the abundance and size profile of the remaining HDL proteins by gel filtration chromatography combined with mass spectrometry. The results clearly show that certain cohorts of proteins depend on each scaffold molecule to assemble normal sized HDL particles under wild-type conditions. This work forms the basis for more detailed studies that will define the specific compositions of HDL subspecies with the possibility of connecting them to specific functions or roles in disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-194
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Proteomics
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grants HL67093 ( WSD ), HL104136 ( WSD ) and HL111829 (LJL) as well as a MicroMouse grant from the National Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center (WSD) and a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Great Rivers Affiliate of the American Heart Association (SMG).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Apolipoprotein
  • High density lipoprotein
  • Lipoprotein
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Mouse model
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of genetic deletion of platform apolipoproteins on the size distribution of the murine lipoproteome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this