Modeling Lipoprotein Particles



Low-density and high-density lipoproteins (LDL/HDL) transport cholesterol in the bloodstream, and play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis. Despite their importance to health, their structure is not known in detail. They consist of a  mixture of components including phospholipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, and associated proteins. The Martini model has proven useful to study the structure and dynamics of these particles.

Studies were originally performed on a model spheroidal HDL particle [1], focusing on the overal shape of the particle and the role of the associated apoA-I protein; subsequent studies [2] involved a more realistic lipid distribution inside HDL. Most recently the much larger LDL particle was investigated using the Martini model [3] (see figure).



  • [1] A. Catte, J.C. Patterson, D. Bashtovyy, M.K. Jones, F. Gu, L. Li, A. Rampioni, D. Sengupta, T. Vuorela, P. Niemela, M. Karttunen, S.J. Marrink, I. Vattulainen, J.P. Segrest. Structure of spheroidal HDL particles revealed by combined atomistic and coarse grained simulations. Biophys. J., 94:2306-2319, 2008.
  • [2] T.A. Vuorela, A. Catte, P.S. Niemela, A. Hall, M.T. Hyvonen, S.J. Marrink, M. Karttunen, I. Vattulainen. Role of lipids in spheroidal high density lipoproteins. PLoS Comp. Biol., 6:e1000964, 2010.
  • [3] T. Murtola, T.A. Vuorela, M.T. Hyvonen, S.J. Marrink, M. Karttunen, I. Vattulainen. Low density lipoprotein: Structure, dynamics, and interactions of ApoB-100 with lipids. Soft Matter, 7:8135-8141, 2011.