Nascent HDL is known to be formed by the interaction of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) with transmembrane ABCA1, but the molecular mechanism by which nascent HDL forms is less well understood. Here, we studied how reconstituted high density lipoprotein (rHDL) forms spontaneously on the interaction of apoA-I with model membranes. The formation of rHDL from pure phosphatidylcholine (PC) large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) proceeded very slowly at 37.0 degrees C, but sphingomyelin (SM) -rich PC/SM LUVs, which are in a gel/liquid-disordered phase (L(d) phase) at this temperature, were rapidly microsolubilized to form rHDL by apoA-I. The addition of cholesterol decreased the rate at which rHDL formed and induced the selective extraction of lipids by apoA-I, which preferably extracted lipids of L(d) phase rather than lipids of liquid-ordered phase. In addition, apoA-I extracted lipids from the outer and inner leaflets of LUVs simultaneously. These results suggest that the heterogeneous interface of the mixed membranes facilitates the insertion of apoA-I and induces L(d) phase-selective but leaflet-nonselective lipid extraction to form rHDL; they are compatible with recent cell works on apoA-I-dependent HDL generation.
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