Apolipoprotein A-II/A-I ratio is a key determinant in vivo of HDL concentration and formation of pre-beta HDL containing apolipoprotein A-II

Biochemistry. 2001 Oct 16;40(41):12243-53. doi: 10.1021/bi010348m.


Overexpression of human apolipoprotein A-II (apo A-II) in mice induced postprandial hypertriglyceridemia and marked reduction in plasma HDL concentration and particle size [Boisfer et al. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 11564-11572]. We presently compared lipoprotein metabolism in three transgenic lines displaying plasma concentrations of human apo A-II ranging from normal to 4 times higher, under ad libitum feeding and after an overnight fast. Fasting dramatically decreased VLDL and lowered circulating human apo A-II in transgenic mice; conversely, plasma HDL levels increased in all genotypes. The apo A-I content of HDL was inversely related to the expression of human apo A-II, probably reflecting displacement of apo A-I by an excess of apo A-II. Thus, the molar ratios of apo A-II/A-I in HDL were significantly higher in fed as compared with fasted animals of the same transgenic line, while endogenous LCAT activity concomitantly decreased. The number and size of HDL particles decreased in direct proportion to the level of human apo A-II expression. Apo A-II was abundantly present in all HDL particles, in contrast to apo A-I mainly present in large ones. Two novel findings were the presence of pre-beta migrating HDL transporting only human apo A-II in the higher-expressing mice and the increase of plasma HDL concentrations by fasting in control and transgenic mice. These findings highlight the reciprocal modifications of VLDL and HDL induced by the feeding-fasting transition and the key role of the molar ratio of apo A-II/A-I as a determinant of HDL particle metabolism and pre-beta HDL formation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / blood*
  • Apolipoprotein A-II / blood*
  • Apolipoprotein A-II / genetics
  • Arteriosclerosis / blood
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Eating
  • Fasting
  • Gene Expression
  • High-Density Lipoproteins, Pre-beta
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IV / blood
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IV / genetics
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Particle Size


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Apolipoprotein A-II
  • High-Density Lipoproteins, Pre-beta
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL