Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology vol:20 issue:2 pages:459-66
High density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism and lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT)-induced HDL remodeling were investigated in transgenic mice expressing human apolipoprotein (apo) AI or an apoAI/apoAII chimera in which the Arg123-Tyr166 domain of apoAI was substituted with the Ser12-Ala75 domain of apoAII. Expression of apoAI and of the apoAI/apoAII chimera resulted in a respective 3. 5-fold and 2.9-fold increase of HDL cholesterol. Human LCAT gene transfer into apoAI-transgenic mice resulted in a 5.1-fold increase of endogenous LCAT activity. This increase was associated with a 2. 4-fold increase of the cholesterol ester-to-free cholesterol ratio of HDL, a shift from HDL(3) to HDL(2), and a 2.4-fold increase of HDL cholesterol levels. Agarose gel electrophoresis revealed that human LCAT gene transfer into human apoAI-transgenic mice resulted in an increase of pre-beta-HDL and of pre-alpha-HDL. In contrast, human LCAT gene transfer did not affect cholesterol levels and HDL distribution profile in mice expressing the apoAI/apoAII chimera. Mouse LCAT did not "see" a difference between wild-type and mutant human apoAI, whereas human LCAT did, thus localizing the species-specific interaction in the central domain of apoAI. In conclusion, the Arg123-Tyr166 central domain of apoAI is not critical for in vivo lipoprotein association. It is, however, critical for LCAT-induced hyperalphalipoproteinemia and HDL remodeling independent of the lipid-binding properties of apoAI.