The interaction of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) with its receptor, scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI), is critical for lowering plasma cholesterol levels and reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. The HDL/SR-BI complex facilitates delivery of cholesterol into cells and is likely mediated by receptor dimerization. This work describes the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to generate the first high-resolution structure of the C-terminal transmembrane domain of SR-BI. This region of SR-BI harbors a leucine zipper dimerization motif, which when mutated impairs the ability of the receptor to bind HDL and mediate cholesterol delivery. These losses in function correlate with the inability of SR-BI to form dimers. We also identify juxtamembrane regions of the extracellular domain of SR-BI that may interact with the lipid surface to facilitate cholesterol transport functions of the receptor.
Keywords: NMR; SR-BI; cholesterol; detergent micelle; dimerization; high density lipoprotein; juxtamembrane; leucine zipper; selective uptake; transmembrane domain.
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