The adipocyte and heart fatty acid-binding proteins (A-and HFABP) are members of a lipid-binding protein family with a β-barrel body capped by a small helix-turn-helix motif. Both proteins are hypothesized to transport fatty acid (FA) to phospholipid membranes through a collisional process. Previously, we suggested that the helical domain is particularly important for the electrostatic interactions involved in this transfer mechanism (Herr, F. M., Aronson, J., and Storch, J. (1996) Biochemistry 35, 1296-1303; and Liou, H.-L., and Storch, J. (2001) Biochemistry 40, 6475-6485). Despite their using qualitatively similar FA transfer mechanisms, differences in absolute transfer rates as well as regulation of transfer from AFABP versus HFABP, prompted us to consider the structural determinants that underlie these functional disparities. To determine the specific elements underlying the functional differences between AFABP and HFABP in FA transfer, two pairs of chimeric proteins were generated. The first and second pairs had the entire helical domain and the first α-helix exchanged between A- and HFABP, respectively. The transfer rates of anthroyloxy-labeled fatty acid from proteins to small unilamellar vesicles were compared with the wild type AFABP and HFABP. The results suggest that the αII-helix is important in determining the absolute FA transfer rates. Furthermore, the αI-helix appears to be particularly important in regulating protein sensitivity to the negative charge of membranes. The αI-helix of HFABP and the αII-helix of AFABP increased the sensitivity to anionic vesicles; the αI-helix of AFABP and αII-helix of HFABP decreased the sensitivity. The differential sensitivities to negative charge, as well as differential absolute rates of FA transfer, may help these two proteins to function uniquely in their respective cell types.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology