Isolation, quantitation, and characterization of a stable complex formed by Lp[a] binding to triglyceride-rich lipoproteins

John W. Gaubatz, Ron C. Hoogeveen, Alan S. Hoffman, Karima G. Ghazzaly, Henry J. Pownall, Juan Guevara, Marlys L. Koschinsky, Joel D. Morrisett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Lipoprotein [a] (Lp[a]) is a cholesterol-rich lipoprotein resembling LDL to which a large polymorphic glycoprotein, apolipoprotein [a] (apo[a]), is covalently coupled. Lp[a] usually exists as a free-standing particle in normolipidemic subjects; however, it can associate noncovalently with triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in hypertriglyceridemic (HTG) subjects. In this study, 10-78% of the Lp[a] present in five HTG subjects was found in the triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TRL) fraction. The Lp[a]-TRL complex was resistant to dissociation by ultracentrifugation (UCF) alone, but was quantitatively dissociated by UCF in the presence of 100 mM proline. Of this dissociated Lp[a], 70-88% was in the form of a lipoprotein resembling conventional Lp[a]. Incubation of Lp[a]-depleted TRL with native Lp[a] resulted in a reconstituted Lp[a]-TRL complex that closely resembled the native isolates in all examined properties. Complex formation was inhibited by several compounds in the order proline > tranexamate > ε-aminocaproate >> arginine > lysine. Neither plasminogen nor LDL inhibited binding of Lp[a] to TRL. We observed the preferential binding of Lp[a] containing higher apparent molecular weight apo[a] polymorphs to TRL both in native and reconstituted Lp[a]-TRL complexes. A disproportionate amount of Lp[a] was bound to the larger TRL particles. Although most apo[a] bound to TRL was in the form of conventional Lp[a] particles, lipidfree recombinant apo[a] was observed to bind TRL. These results provide unequivocal evidence of the existence of an Lp[a]-TRL complex under pathophysiologic conditions. The metabolic fate of the Lp[a]-TRL complex, which is more abundant in hypertriglyceridemia, may be different from that of conventional Lp[a], and may contribute uniquely to the progression or severity of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2058-2068
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001


  • Apo[a]
  • Chylomicrons
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Type IV
  • Type V
  • VLDL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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