Adsorption of apolipoprotein A-I to biological membranes. A statistical mechanical model
Department of Physics, 226 Physics Building, University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
Received: 24 April 2012
Accepted: 14 June 2012
Apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I), the main protein component of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), reduces the risk for atherosclerosis by removing cholesterol from the membrane of foam cells. Experiments with model membrane systems have indicated, however, that membrane cholesterol reduces apo A-I binding to the membrane. Foam cells resolve this discrepancy electrostatically by co-inserting negatively charged phospholipids in their membrane. Here we present a statistical mechanical model to account for the effect of cholesterol. Our model is based on the Haugen and May model which takes into account the dipolar nature of the zwitterionic phospholipid head group in the membrane, in which the positive end of the zwitterionic dipole moment can move randomly on a hemispherical surface with a radius equal to the arm of the dipole moment and with the negative end fixed at the hydrocarbon layer. Adsorption of a positively charged apo A-I macroion to the surface of the membrane modifies the electric field within the head group region and induces lateral demixing of phospholipid molecules in the membrane. Results from numerical integration of model equations show that i) as a result of the strong charge-dipole electrostatic coupling, the positive end of the dipoles tilts away from the adsorbed macroion in a cooperative manner; and ii) cholesterol reduces macroion adsorption to the membrane by reducing the surface area of the membrane and restricting the dipoles range of rotation. Model predictions for the change in free energy of adsorption to zwitterionic membrane are in good agreement with previously reported experimental data with liposomes. The model can assist in designing new mimetic peptides.
PACS: 87.14.Cc – Lipids / 87.14.E- – Proteins / 87.15.kt – Protein-membrane interactions
© EPLA, 2012