Apolipoprotein A-I attenuates LL-37-induced endothelial cell cytotoxicity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The human cathelicidin peptide LL-37 has antimicrobial and anti-biofilm functions, but LL-37 may also damage the host by triggering inflammation and exerting a cytotoxic effect, thereby reducing host cell viability. Human plasma mitigates LL-37-induced host cell cytotoxicity but the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. Apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) is a plasma protein endowed with atheroprotective effects. Here, we investigate the interaction between ApoA-I and LL-37 by biochemical techniques, and furthermore assess if ApoA-I protects against LL-37-evoked cytotoxicity in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Our results demonstrated that ApoA-I effectively binds LL-37. The binding of ApoA-I to LL-37 resulted in a structural rearrangement of the protein, but this interaction did not cause lower ApoA-I stability. Recombinant ApoA-I protected against LL-37-induced cytotoxicity in HUVEC and endogenous ApoA-I knockdown in HepG2 cells made the cells more sensitive to LL-37-evoked cytotoxicity. We conclude that ApoA-I physically interacts with LL-37 and antagonizes LL-37-induced down-regulation of endothelial cell viability suggesting that this mechanism counteracts endothelial cell dysfunction.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medicinal Chemistry


  • Antimicrobial peptide (AMP), ApoA-I, Cathelicidin, Endothelium, Host defence peptide, Innate immunity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Early online date2017 Sep 15
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch