ApoE and ApoE Nascent-Like HDL Particles at Model Cellular Membranes: Effect of Protein Isoform and Membrane Composition

Sarah Waldie, Federica Sebastiani, Martine Moulin, Rita Del Giudice, Nicolò Paracini, Felix Roosen-Runge, Yuri Gerelli, Sylvain Prevost, John C. Voss, Tamim A. Darwish, Nageshwar Yepuri, Harald Pichler, Selma Maric, V. Trevor Forsyth, Michael Haertlein, Marité Cárdenas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), an important mediator of lipid transportation in plasma and the nervous system, plays a large role in diseases such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's. The major allele variants ApoE3 and ApoE4 differ only by one amino acid. However, this difference has major consequences for the physiological behaviour of each variant. In this paper, we follow (i) the initial interaction of lipid-free ApoE variants with model membranes as a function of lipid saturation, (ii) the formation of reconstituted High-Density Lipoprotein-like particles (rHDL) and their structural characterisation, and (iii) the rHDL ability to exchange lipids with model membranes made of saturated lipids in the presence and absence of cholesterol [1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) or 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) with and without 20 mol% cholesterol]. Our neutron reflection results demonstrate that the protein variants interact differently with the model membranes, adopting different protein conformations. Moreover, the ApoE3 structure at the model membrane is sensitive to the level of lipid unsaturation. Small-angle neutron scattering shows that the ApoE containing lipid particles form elliptical disc-like structures, similar in shape but larger than nascent or discoidal HDL based on Apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1). Neutron reflection shows that ApoE-rHDL do not remove cholesterol but rather exchange saturated lipids, as occurs in the brain. In contrast, ApoA1-containing particles remove and exchange lipids to a greater extent as occurs elsewhere in the body.

Original languageEnglish
Article number630152
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2021


  • ApoE isoforms
  • lipid exchange
  • model membranes
  • neutron reflection
  • reconstituted HDL
  • small-angle neutron scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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