Purpose of the review
This review clarifies the functions of key proteins of the chylomicron and the HDL pathways.
Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of several apolipoprotein (apo)E forms in mice showed that the amino-terminal 1-185 domain of apoE can direct receptor-mediated lipoprotein clearance in vivo. Clearance is mediated mainly by the LDL receptor. The carboxyl-terminal 261-299 domain of apoE induces hypertriglyceridemia, because of increased VLDL secretion, diminished lipolysis and inefficient VLDL clearance. Truncated apoE forms, including apoE2-202, have a dominant effect in remnant clearance and may have future therapeutic applications for the correction of remnant removal disorders. Permanent expression of apoE and apoA-I following adenoviral gene transfer protected mice from atherosclerosis. Functional assays, protein cross-linking, and adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of apoA-I mutants in apoA-I deficient mice showed that residues 220-231, as well as the central helices of apoA-I, participate in ATP-binding cassette transporter A1-mediated lipid efflux and HDL biogenesis. Following apoA-I gene transfer, an amino-terminal deletion mutant formed spherical α-HDL, a double amino- and carboxyl-terminal deletion mutant formed discoidal HDL, and a carboxyl-terminal deletion mutant formed only pre-β-HDL. The findings support a model of cholesterol efflux that requires direct physical interactions between apoA-I and ATP-binding cassette transporter A1, and can explain Tangier disease and other HDL deficiencies.
New insights are provided into the role of apoE in cholesterol and triglyceride homeostasis, and of apoA-I in the biogenesis of HDL. Clearance of the lipoprotein remnants and increase in HDL synthesis are obvious targets for therapeutic interventions.