Microphase separation in low density lipoproteins. Evidence for a fluid triglyceride core below the lipid melting transition.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Magdalena PregetterPeter Laggner


The structural organization of the neutral lipid core in human low density lipoproteins (LDL) was investigated in physicochemically defined, distinct human LDL subspecies in the density range of 1. 0244-1.0435 g/ml by evaluation of the core lipid transition temperature, chemical composition, and the behavior of spin-labeled core lipids. Calorimetric studies were performed on more than 60 LDL preparations, and the transition temperature, which varied between 19 and 32 degreesC, was correlated to the chemical composition and revealed a discontinuity at a critical cholesteryl ester to triglyceride ratio of approximately 7:1. For electron spin resonance studies, several LDL preparations were probed with spin-labeled cholesteryl esters and triglycerides, respectively. In LDL with a high triglyceride content, both labels exhibited similar mobility behavior. In contrast, in LDL with only small concentrations of triglycerides, the behavior of labeled cholesteryl esters and labeled triglycerides differed distinctly. The cholesteryl esters were strongly immobilized below the transition temperature, whereas the triglycerides remained fluid throughout the measured temperatures. These results suggest that the critical cholesteryl ester to t...Continue Reading


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