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Lipoproteins at high pressure

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Lipid composition of human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and its physicochemical characteristics are relevant for proper functioning of lipid transport in the blood circulation. To explore dynamical and structural features of LDL particles with either a normal or a triglyceride-rich lipid composition we combined coherent and incoherent neutron scattering methods.

The investigations were carried out under high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), which is a versatile tool to study the physicochemical behavior of biomolecules in solution at a molecular level. Within both neutron techniques we applied HHP to probe the shape and degree of freedom of the possible motions (within the time windows of 15 and 100 ps) and consequently the flexibility of LDL particles. We found that HHP does not change the types of motion in LDL, but influences the portion of motions participating. Contrary to our assumption that lipoprotein particles, like membranes, are highly sensitive to pressure we determined that LDL copes surprisingly well with high pressure conditions, although the lipid composition, particularly the triglyceride content of the particles, impacts the molecular dynamics and shape arrangement of LDL under pressure. These results have been published in in Scientific Reposrts.