Characterization of constitutive human serum amyloid A protein (SAA4) as an apolipoprotein

J Lipid Res. 1995 Mar;36(3):526-34.


Serum amyloid A proteins (SAAs), a family of homologous molecules, are apolipoproteins of high density lipoprotein (HDL). They can be divided into two groups. The first group comprises the well-characterized acute phase SAAs that associate with HDL during inflammation, thereby remodeling the HDL particle by displacing apolipoprotein (apo)A-I. The second group consists of the recently discovered constitutive SAAs, mouse SAA5 and human SAA4. They exist as minor apolipoproteins on HDL but constitute more than 90% of the total SAA during homeostasis. We have characterized human SAA4 as an apolipoprotein. During homeostasis, SAA4 is synthesized only in the liver. Purification of SAA4 has been described and its plasma concentration has been established at 55 +/- 13 micrograms/ml in 26 healthy individuals. It was present on all HDL density classes and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) but was absent from low density lipoprotein (LDL). Using two-dimensional electrophoresis and phosphorimaging, SAA4 was found to be associated with a specific subpopulation of only three HDL particles, not involved in the initial cholesterol transfer from cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction / blood
  • Apolipoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Apolipoproteins / blood
  • Apolipoproteins / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / classification
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / isolation & purification
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / classification
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / isolation & purification
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / biosynthesis
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / isolation & purification*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein
  • apolipoprotein SAA