Received November 3, 2003; Revision received February 12, 2004
Cysteine-arginine interchanges along the primary sequence of human plasma apolipoprotein E (apoE) play an important role in determining its biological functions due to a high mutation frequency of cytosine in CGX triplet that codes 33 of 34 apolipoprotein arginine residues. The contribution of apoE secondary structure to apolipoprotein-lipid interaction is described. The significance of apolipoprotein in triglyceride synthesis, lipoprotein lipolysis, and receptor-mediated clearance of lipolytic remnants of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins is discussed as well. The metabolic flow of lipoproteins in normo- and hypertriglyceridemia can be described by separate compartments that contribute to lipoprotein interaction with at least six different receptors: 1) low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor; 2) LDL receptor-related protein (LRP); 3) apoB48 macrophage receptor for hypertriglyceridemic very low density lipoproteins (VLDL); 4) scavenger receptors; 5) VLDL receptor; 6) lipolysis-stimulated receptor. The contribution of the exposure of apoE molecules on the surface of triglyceride-rich particles sensitive both to lipolysis and plasma triglyceride content to the interaction with LDL receptor and LRP is emphasized.
KEY WORDS: apolipoprotein E, apolipoprotein-receptor interactions, metabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particles, protein structure