Apolipoprotein (apo) A-IV is a polymorphic, intestinally derived apolipoprotein that is genetically linked to and similar in structure to apoA-I, the major apolipoprotein in high density lipoproteins (HDL). ApoA-IV plays a potentially important role in lipoprotein metabolism and reverse cholesterol transport, but its in vivo metabolism is poorly understood. In order to gain insight into factors modulating apoA-IV metabolism in humans, the in vivo kinetics of the two major human apoA-IV isoproteins apoA-IV-1 and apoA-IV-2 were investigated in normolipidemic human subjects. 131I-apoA-IV-1 and 125I-apoA-IV-2 were reassociated with autologous plasma and injected into study subjects. Analysis of the kinetic data revealed a rapid mean fractional catabolic rate (FCR) for apoA-IV-1 of 2.42 +/- 0.11 d-1. The mean production, or transport, rate of apoA-IV-1 was 16.3 +/- 1.4 mg/kg per d. Plasma apoA-IV concentrations were highly correlated with apoA-IV production rate (r = 0.84, P < 0.001) and not correlated with apoA-IV fractional catabolic rate (r = 0.25, P = NS). The mean FCR of apoA-IV-2 was 2.21 +/- 0.10 d-1. In the ten subjects in whom 131I-apoA-IV-1 and 125I-apoA-IV-2 were simultaneously injected, the FCR of apoA-IV-2 was significantly slower by paired t test (P = 0.003). The FCR of apoA-IV-2 in an apoA-IV-2/2 homozygote was only 1.49 d-1, substantially slower than in all other subjects. We conclude that: (a) apoA-IV is a rapidly catabolized apolipoprotein in humans, with a fractional catabolic rate more than 10 times greater than that of apoA-I; (b) apoA-IV has a high absolute transport rate similar to that of apoA-I; (c) plasma levels of apoA-IV are primarily determined by apoA-IV production rate in normolipidemic subjects; and (d) the fractional catabolic rate of the common variant apoA-IV-2 is slower than that of the wild-type apoA-IV-1.
D J Rader, J Schäfer, P Lohse, B Verges, M Kindt, L A Zech, A Steinmetz, H B Brewer Jr