13C NMR studies of the thermal properties of a model high density lipoprotein. Apolipoprotein A-I-dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine complex

J. R. Brainard, R. D. Knapp, J. D. Morrisett, H. J. Pownall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The most abundant lipid and protein components of human plasma high density lipoproteins are phosphatidylcholine and apolipoprotein A-I (A-I). Under appropriate conditions, A-I spontaneously associates with dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) to quantitatively form a lipid-protein complex with a DMPC/A-I molar ratio of 100:1. Differential scanning calorimetry of this complex reveals two broad thermal transitions centered at approximately 27 and 72°C. 13C NMR spectra of the complex have been obtained above, at, and below the lower transition temperature. The 13C resonance arising from the 3' carbon of the fatty acyl chains is a doublet, split by approximately 0.2 ppm, suggesting that the 3' carbon nuclei occupy two magnetically inequivalent sites. By replacing the sn-2 fatty acyl chain with myristate selectively 13C-enriched at carbon 3', we have shown that the splitting is, in fact, a result of magnetic inequivalence of the two sites and have assigned the lower field resonance to the 3' carbon nucleus of the sn-2 chain. The temperature dependence of the NMR relaxation rates indicates that the endothermic transition at 27° C is associated with increased motional freedom for the phospholipids within this complex. The temperature dependence of the fatty acyl chain methylene 13C chemical shifts suggests that the population of gauche conformers increases above the transition temperature. These dynamic and conformational changes are characteristic for gel → liquid crystalline phase transitions observed in pure phospholipid systems. For the DMPC-A-I complex at 37°C, the chemical shifts of the fatty acyl C 4'-11' methylene envelope and of the C 7' and C 13' resonances occur significantly downfield from the corresponding chemical shifts for the DMPC vesicle. These results suggest that the apoprotein rigidifies the acyl chains by increasing their number of trans conformers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10340-10347
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of '13C NMR studies of the thermal properties of a model high density lipoprotein. Apolipoprotein A-I-dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine complex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this