Structure of human apolipoprotein A-IV: A distinct domain architecture among exchangeable apolipoproteins with potential functional implications

Kevin Pearson, Hiroyuki Saito, Stephen C. Woods, Sissel Lund-Katz, Patrick Tso, Michael C. Phillips, W. Sean Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Apolipoprotein A-IV (apoA-IV) is an exchangeable apolipoprotein that shares many functional similarities with related apolipoproteins such as apoE and apoA-I but has also been implicated as a circulating satiety factor. However, despite the fact that it contains many predicted amphipathic α-helical domains, relatively little is known about its tertiary structure. We hypothesized that apoA-IV exhibits a characteristic functional domain organization that has been proposed to define apoE and apoA-I. To test this, we created truncation mutants in a bacterial system that deleted amino acids from either the N- or C-terminal ends of human apoA-IV. We found that apoA-IV was less stable than apoA-I but was more highly organized in terms of its cooperativity of unfolding. Deletion of the extreme N and C termini of apoA-IV did not significantly affect the cooperativity of unfolding, but deletions past amino acid 333 on the C terminus or amino acid 61 on the N terminus had major destabilizing effects. Functionally, apoA-IV was less efficient than apoA-I at clearing multilamellar phospholipid liposomes and promoting ATP-binding cassette transporter A1-mediated cholesterol efflux. However, deletion of a C-terminal region of apoA-IV, which is devoid of predicted amphipathic α helices (amino acids 333-376) stimulated both of these activities dramatically. We conclude that the amphipathic α helices in apoA-IV form a single, large domain that may be similar to the N-terminal helical bundle domains of apoA-I and apoE but that apoA-IV lacks the C-terminal lipid-binding and cholesterol efflux-promoting domain present in these apolipoproteins. In fact, the C terminus of apoA-IV appears to reduce the ability of apoA-IV to interact with lipids and promote cholesterol efflux. This indicates that, although apoA-IV may have evolved from gene duplication events of ancestral apolipoproteins and shares the basic amphipathic helical building blocks, the overall localization of functional domains within the sequence is quite different from apoA-I and apoE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10719-10729
Number of pages11
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 24 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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