Understanding high-density lipoprotein function in disease: recent advances in proteomics unravel the complexity of its composition and biology

Prog Lipid Res. 2014 Oct:56:36-46. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2014.07.003. Epub 2014 Aug 6.


Although the epidemiology of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and cardiovascular risk has been consistent, pharmacologic interventions to increase HDL-cholesterol by delaying HDL catabolism did not translate into reduction in cardiovascular risk. HDL particles are small, protein-rich when compared to other plasma lipoprotein classes. Latest progresses in proteomics technology have dramatically increased our understanding of proteins carried by HDL. In addition to proteins with well-established functions in lipid transport, iron transport proteins, members of the complement pathway, and proteins involved in immune function and acute phase response were repeatedly identified on HDL particles. With the unraveling of the complexity of the HDL proteome, different laboratories have started to monitor its changes in various disease states. In addition, dynamic aspects of HDL subgroups are being discovered. These recent studies clearly illustrate the promise of HDL proteomics for deriving new biomarkers for disease diagnosis and to measure the effectiveness of current and future treatment regimens. This review summarizes recent advances in proteomics and lipidomics helping to understand HDL function in health and disease.

Keywords: Biomarker; Disease; HDL function; High-density lipoprotein; Proteomics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Proteome