Purpose of review: Apolipoprotein (apo) A-V functions to modulate intracellular and extracellular triacylglycerol metabolism. The present review addresses molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. The relevance of apoA-V to human disease conditions is illustrated by the strong correlation between single nucleotide polymorphisms in APOA5, elevated plasma triacylglycerol and dyslipidemic disease.
Recent findings: Despite undergoing processing for secretion from hepatocytes, a portion of apoA-V escapes this destiny and accumulates as a component of cytosolic lipid droplets. Expression of recombinant apoA-V in hepatocarcinoma cells results in increased lipid droplet size and number at the expense of triacylglycerol secretion.
ApoA-V modulates atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic apoE null mice. ApoE null/human apoA-V transgenic mice had reduced levels of triacylglycerol and cholesterol in plasma along with decreased aortic lesion size.
Summary: ApoA-V modulates triacylglycerol metabolic fate. Following its synthesis, apoA-V enters the endoplasmic reticulum and associates with membrane defects created by triacylglycerol accumulation. Association of apoA-V with endoplasmic reticulum membrane defects promotes nascent lipid droplets budding toward the cytosol. Despite its low concentration in plasma (∼150 ng/ml), apoA-V modulates lipoprotein metabolism by binding to glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored high-density lipoprotein binding protein 1. This interaction effectively localizes triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins in the vicinity of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored high-density lipoprotein binding protein1's other ligand, lipoprotein lipase.