"The structure shows the precise molecular and atomic details of how two molecules of apoA-I bind to each other to form a half circle arrangement that can solubilize fatty molecules and cholesterol to form the "nascent" HDL. In addition, the structure suggests how a central section of the protein may form a tunnel through which cholesterol can be moved during the interaction with LCAT. Finally, the structure provides the molecular details that may underlie the structural and functional effects of important apoA-I mutations that cause abnormalities in HDL function," he explained.
According to the researcher, understanding, in molecular detail, the processes of fat and cholesterol transport, cellular uptake and removal is crucial to understanding how these processes occur in the healthy state and become dysregulated in diseases such as atherosclerosis. "With the mechanistic insights provided by this knowledge, new drugs may be developed to regulate and treat human diseases including obesity, atherosclerosis, stroke metabolic syndrome and the dyslipidemia associated with diabetes," added Atkinson.
Source: Boston University Medical Center