Investigation of the apolipoprotein C-II activation site of human lipoprotein lipase

The enzymes hepatic lipase (HL) and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) play a key role in the metabolism of cholesterol and fat circulating in the blood stream. However, their specific role and capacity to offer protection from heart disease are unclear. My research will identify the parts of each enzyme responsible for performing different functions. This knowledge will more clearly define how these enzymes influence the metabolism of cholesterol and fat and the development of cardiovascular disease. I am combining parts of HL and LPL to create new enzymes that will highlight the differences between the original enzymes’ functions. For example, a fundamental property of enzymes is how they are activated. We know a particular protein that does not activate HL does activate LPL. I will put the portions of LPL we think are responsible for activation into HL to test whether HL is activated and confirm that this part of LPL causes activation. When we know how these enzymes work to regulate and control the level of cholesterol and fat, we will understand their relationship with cardiovascular disease, and should be able to develop enzyme inhibitors or activators to improve cardiovascular health.