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Apolipophorin III (apoLp-III) is an insect apolipoprotein (18kDa) that comprises a single five-helix bundle domain. In contrast, human apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) is a 28kDa two-domain protein: an α-helical N-terminal domain (residues 1-189) and a less structured C-terminal domain (residues 190-243). To better understand the apolipoprotein domain organization, a novel chimeric protein was engineered by attaching residues 179 to 243 of apoA-I to the C-terminal end of apoLp-III. The apoLp-III/apoA-I chimera was successfully expressed and purified in E. coli. Western blot analysis and mass spectrometry confirmed the presence of the C-terminal domain of apoA-I within the chimera. While parent apoLp-III did not self-associate, the chimera formed oligomers similar to apoA-I. The chimera displayed a lower α-helical content, but the stability remained similar compared to apoLp-III, consistent with the addition of a less structured domain. The chimera was able to solubilize phospholipid vesicles at a significantly higher rate compared to apoLp-III, approaching that of apoA-I. The chimera was more effective in protecting phospholipase C-treated low density lipoprotein from aggregation compared to apoLp-III. In addition, binding interaction of the chimera with phosphatidylglycerol vesicles and lipopolysaccharides was considerably improved compared to apoLp-III. Thus, addition of the C-terminal domain of apoA-I to apoLp-III created a two-domain protein, with self-association, lipid and lipopolysaccharide binding properties similar to apoA-I. The apoA-I like behavior of the chimera indicate that these properties are independent from residues residing in the N-terminal domain of apoA-I, and that they can be transferred from apoA-I to apoLp-III. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


James V C Horn, Rachel A Ellena, Jesse J Tran, Wendy H J Beck, Vasanthy Narayanaswami, Paul M M Weers. Transfer of C-terminal residues of human apolipoprotein A-I to insect apolipophorin III creates a two-domain chimeric protein with enhanced lipid binding activity. Biochimica et biophysica acta. 2017 Aug;1859(8):1317-1325

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PMID: 28434970

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