C-terminal interactions of apolipoprotein E4 respond to the postprandial state

Sarada D. Tetali, Madhu S. Budamagunta, John C Voss, John C Rutledge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Increased triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRLs) in the postprandial state are associated with atherosclerosis. We investigated whether the postprandial state induced structural changes at the apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) C terminus, its principal lipid binding domain, using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy of a site-directed spin label attached to the cysteine of apoE4-W264C. Spin coupling between labels located in the C termini was followed after mixing with preprandial and postprandial human plasma samples. Our results indicate that postprandial plasma triggers a reorganization of the protein such that the dipolar broadening is diminished, indicating a reduction in C-terminal interaction. The loss of spectral broadening was directly correlated with an increase in postprandial plasma triglycerides and was reduced with delipidated plasma. The spin-labeled apoE4 displayed a lipid preference of VLDL > LDL > HDL in the preprandial and postprandial states. The apoE4 shift to VLDL during the postprandial state was accompanied by a loss in spectral broadening of the protein. These findings suggest that apoE4 associated with LDL maintains self-association via its C terminus and that this association is diminished in VLDL-associated protein. Lipolyzed TGRL reflected a depletion of the C-terminal interaction of apoE4. Addition of palmitate to VLDL gave a similar response as lipolyzed TGRL, suggesting that lipolysis products play a major role in reorganizing apoE4 during the postprandial state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1358-1365
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2006


  • Electron paramagnetic resonance
  • Site directed spin labeling
  • Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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