The protein moiety of plasma lipoproteins consists of several distinct polypeptides called apolipoproteins. These proteins serve different specific functions in lipid transport including enzymatic cofactor activity, recognition of cell surface receptors and exchange of cholesterylesters between lipoproteins. Mutants of apolipoproteins will be excellent probes to study structure-function relationships of these proteins. Mutations affecting the function of apolipoproteins may perturb lipoprotein metabolism and result in certain forms of genetic dys- or hyperlipoproteinemia that might be termed apolipoproteinopathies (1).
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