Crystal Structure of Human BPI and Two Bound Phospholipids at 2.4 Angstrom Resolution

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Science  20 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5320, pp. 1861-1864
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5320.1861

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Bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI), a potent antimicrobial protein of 456 residues, binds to and neutralizes lipopolysaccharides from the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. At a resolution of 2.4 angstroms, the crystal structure of human BPI shows a boomerang-shaped molecule formed by two similar domains. Two apolar pockets on the concave surface of the boomerang each bind a molecule of phosphatidylcholine, primarily by interacting with their acyl chains; this suggests that the pockets may also bind the acyl chains of lipopolysaccharide. As a model for the related plasma lipid transfer proteins, BPI illuminates a mechanism of lipid transfer for this protein family.

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