Apolipoprotein A-I and A-IV are protein constituents of high-density lipoproteins although their functional difference in lipoprotein metabolism is still unclear. To compare anti-atherogenic properties between apoA-I and apoA-4, we characterized both proteins in lipid-free and lipid-bound state. In lipid-free state, apoA4 showed two distinct bands, around 78 and 67 Å on native gel electrophoresis, while apoA-I showed scattered band pattern less than 71 Å. In reconstituted HDL (rHDL) state, apoA-4 showed three major bands around 101 Å and 113 Å, while apoA-I-rHDL showed almost single band around 98 Å size. Lipid-free apoA-I showed 2.9-fold higher phospholipid binding ability than apoA-4. In lipid-free state, BS3-crosslinking revealed that apoA-4 showed less multimerization tendency upto dimer, while apoA-I showed pentamerization. In rHDL state (95:1), apoA-4 was existed as dimer as like as apoA-I. With higher phospholipid content (255:1), five apoA-I and three apoA-4 were required to the bigger rHDL formation. Regardless of particle size, apoA-I-rHDL showed superior LCAT activation ability than apoA-4-rHDL. Uptake of acetylated LDL was inhibited by apoA-I in both lipid-free and lipid-bound state, while apoA-4 inhibited it only lipid-free state. ApoA-4 showed less anti-atherogenic activity with more sensitivity to glycation. In conclusion, apoA-4 showed inferior physiological functions in lipid-bound state, compared with those of apoA-I, to induce more pro-atherosclerotic properties.
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