Epitope mapping of the human biliary amphipathic, anionic polypeptide: Similarity with a calcium-binding protein isolated from gallstones and bile, and immunologic cross-reactivity with apolipoprotein A-I

N. Domingo, J. Grosclaude, E. D. Bekaert, D. Mege, M. J. Chapman, S. Shimizu, M. Ayrault-Jarrier, J. D. Ostrow, H. Lafont

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Biliary amphipathic anionic polypeptide (APF) the major protein of the pigment-lipoprotein complex in bile, and calcium-binding protein (CBP) from gallstones are both small (< 10 kDa), highly acidic, amphipathic proteins present in bile and closely associated also with pigmented areas in human gallstones. Polyclonal antibodies against APF have shown cross-reactivity with plasma high density lipoproteins (HDL). This study examines the hypothesis that APF and CBP might be closely related or even identical, and might also share common epitopes with the larger apoA-I (23 kDa). To assess this, immunoreactivity of the three delipidated, highly purified proteins was determined against a panel of 12 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) prepared against APF and a panel of 4 MAbs against apoA-I. APF was isolated from bile by zonal ultracentrifugation. CBP was isolated from proteins precipitated from bile by CaCl2, as well as from the calcium bilirubinate shells of cholesterol gallstones, by extraction successively with methyl-t-butyl ether, methanol, and Na2EDTA, followed by Sephadex G-25 chromatography and two- stage preparative SDS-PAGE. ApoA-I was prepared by two types of chromatography: Sephacryl S200 chromatography and heparin-chromatographic immunoaffinity. Specific polyclonal antibodies to APF and apoA-I were prepared from immunized rabbits. MAbs to APF and apoA-I were prepared by immunization of mice, using standard hybridoma technique. Western blotting of APF and CBP in 15% SDS-PAGE yielded one band with an apparent molecular weight of 6.5 kDa, which, along with apoA-I, was immunostained by polyclonal antibodies to APF and apoA-I. Using 12 MAbs against APF with three types of ELISA (direct antigen binding, competitive antigen displacement, and epitope competition between antibodies), it was shown that APF and delipidated apoA-I shared six epitopes, three of which were detected also on the surface of intact HDL particles. Six other epitopes were present in APF but not apoA-I, four of which were exposed on the surface of HDL. Four MAbs against apoA-I reacted with APF and CBP. Amino acid analyses of APF and CBP were similar with 20-23% acidic and 7-11% basic amino acids and low contents of cysteine, methionine, and tyrosine; both differed from apoA-I in containing isoleucine and cysteine. Using ELISA and one MAb (no. 32) against APF, this polypeptide was detected in human plasma HDL, the pigment-lipoprotein complex in the bile of humans, dogs, and rats, and in both pigment and cholesterol gallstones. Like CBP, APF contained tightly bound bile pigments and arrested the precipitation of calcium carbonate from a supersaturated solution in vitro. These common properties and immunological cross-reactivity between APF and CBP suggest that the two proteins may be identical, and likely play a role in both transport of cholesterol and precipitation of calcium salts in bile, and therefore in the formation of both cholesterol and calcium/pigment-containing gallstones. APF/CBP also shares some epitopes with apoA-I and plasma HDL. The presence of amino acids in APF/CBP not found in apoA-I, however, renders it probable that APF is a true minor apolipoprotein of HDL, distinct from apoA- I, that binds tightly to the surface of HDL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1430
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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