Structural Effects of High Hydrostatic Pressure on Human Low Density Lipoprotein Revealed by Small Angle X-ray and Neutron Scattering

Bernhard Lehofer, Maksym Golub, Karin Kornmueller, Manfred Kriechbaum, Nicolas Martinez, Heinz Amenitsch, Judith Peters, Ruth Prassl

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the principal cholesterol transporter in the human blood circulation. The quasi-spherical LDL particles (∼20 nm) are made up of a complex combination of various lipids and a large single amphipathic protein moiety, named apolipoprotein B-100. LDL has a hydrophobic core and an amphiphilic shell. Each particle has a specific phase transition temperature (Tm) corresponding to the melting of the core lipids from an ordered liquid crystalline to a disordered fluid phase.

The structural impact of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) was studied with different types of LDL (native, oxidized and triglyceride rich) with SANS (PSI, Switzerland) and SAXS (Elettra, Italy). The HHP ranged from 50 to 3000 bar. Temperature points were chosen below, on and above Tm.

The pair distance distribution functions p(r) of the SAS curves revealed pressure dependent changes of the particle structure seen in the low q-region (∼0.25 nm−1), also reflected by a decrease of Radii of Gyration (Rg) with increasing pressure.

Especially the p(r) functions from the SAXS data do not only show an overall particle change but also a highly pressure sensitive inner organization. A triple-peak feature indicating the lamellar lipid organization below Tm was induced by raising the pressure up to 3000 bar. These pressure sensitive lipid layers were observed by scattering intensity changes in SAXS curves at q=1.7 nm−1.

The shape alterations could be evidenced by fitting an ellipsoidal model to the SANS curves resulting in a decrease of the ellipsoidal radii under pressure. A new LDL model considering the cross-sectional electron density profile is developed and applied to the SAS data to get a more detailed insight into pressure dependent behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016
EventBiophysical 60th Annual Meeting - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: 27 Feb 20162 Mar 2016


ConferenceBiophysical 60th Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles

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