Apo A-IV: an update on regulation and physiologic functions

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Mar 17;1631(2):177-87. doi: 10.1016/s1388-1981(03)00004-0.


Apolipoprotein (apo) A-IV, first identified 28 years ago as a plasma lipoprotein moiety, is now known to participate in the regulation of various metabolic pathways. It is synthesized primarily in the enterocytes of the small intestine during fat absorption. After entry into the bloodstream, the 46-kDa glycoprotein apo A-IV appears associated with chylomicrons, high-density lipoproteins, and in the lipoprotein-free fraction. It has a role in lipid absorption, transport and metabolism, and may act as a post-prandial satiety signal, an anti-oxidant and a major factor in the prevention of atherosclerosis. After summarizing and discussing these functions for reader's comprehension, the current review focuses on the regulation of apo A-IV by nutrients, biliary components, drugs, hormones and gastrointestinal peptides. The understanding of the involved mechanisms that underline apo A-IV regulation may in the long run allow us to switch on its gene, which may confer multiple beneficial effects, including the protection from atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins A / biosynthesis
  • Apolipoproteins A / genetics
  • Apolipoproteins A / physiology*
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Fasting
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Variation
  • Hormones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism


  • Apolipoproteins A
  • Dietary Fats
  • Hormones
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Lipoproteins
  • apolipoprotein A-IV