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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structural basis of the lipid transfer mechanism of phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP).

  • Author(s): Zhang, Meng
  • Zhai, Xiaobo
  • Li, Jinping
  • Albers, John J
  • Vuletic, Simona
  • Ren, Gang
  • et al.

Human phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) mediates the transfer of phospholipids among atheroprotective high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and atherogenic low-density lipoproteins (LDL) by an unknown mechanism. Delineating this mechanism would represent the first step towards understanding PLTP-mediated lipid transfers, which may be important for treating lipoprotein abnormalities and cardiovascular disease. Here, using various electron microscopy techniques, PLTP is revealed to have a banana-shaped structure similar to cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). We provide evidence that PLTP penetrates into the HDL and LDL surfaces, respectively, and then forms a ternary complex with HDL and LDL. Insights into the interaction of PLTP with lipoproteins at the molecular level provide a basis to understand the PLTP-dependent lipid transfer mechanisms for dyslipidemia treatment.

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