Effects of Apolipoprotein A-I on ATP-binding Cassette Transporter A1-mediated Efflux of Macrophage Phospholipid and Cholesterol: Formation of nascent high density lipoprotein particles

Lijuan Liu, Anna E. Bortnick, Margaret Nickel, Padmaja Dhanasekaran, Papasani V. Subbaiah, Sissel Lund-Katz, George H. Rothblat, Michael C. Phillips

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110 Scopus citations


The mechanism of formation of high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles by the action of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) is not defined completely. To address this issue, we monitored efflux to apoA-I of phosphatidylcholine (PC), sphingomyelin (SM), and unesterified (free) cholesterol (FC) from J774 macrophages, in which ABCA1 is up-regulated, and investigated the nature of the particles formed. The various apoA-I/lipid particles appearing in the extracellular medium were separated by gel filtration chromatography. The presence of apoA-I in the extracellular medium led to the simultaneous formation of more than one type of poorly lipidated apoA-I-containing particle: there were 9- and 12-nm diameter particles containing ∼3:1 and 1:1 phospholipid/FC (mol/mol), respectively, which were present together with 6-nm monomeric apoA-I. Removal of the C-terminal α-helix (residues 223-243) of apoA-I reduced phospholipid and FC efflux and prevented formation of the 9- and 12-nm HDL particles; the apoA-I variant formed larger particles that eluted in the void volume. FC loading of the J774 cells also led to the formation of larger apoA-I-containing particles that were highly enriched in FC. Besides creating HDL particles, ABCA1 mediated release of larger (20-450-nm diameter) FC-rich particles that were not involved in HDL formation and that are probably membrane vesicles. These particles contained 1: 1 PC/SM in contrast to the HDL particles, which contained 2:1 PC/SM. This is consistent with lipid raft and non-raft plasma membrane domains being involved primarily in ABCA1-mediated vesicle release and nascent HDL formation, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42976-42984
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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