Acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferases (ACATs), which are members of the membrane-bound O-acyltransferase family, catalyze the conversion of cholesterol to cholesteryl esters. Mammals have two isoenzymes: ACAT1 and ACAT2. Both enzymes are drug targets for treating human diseases. ACAT1 is present in various cell types. It contains nine transmembrane domains (TMDs), with the active site His460 located within TMD7, and the active site Asn421 located within the fourth large cytoplasmic loop. In human ACAT1, a single-nucleotide polymorphism exists for residue 526: the codon is either CAG for Gln, or CGG for Arg. Gln526/Arg526 is present within the C-terminal loop. Its biochemical significance is unknown. In addition, within the C-terminal half of ACAT1, numerous residues conserved with those of ACAT2 are present; the functions of these conserved residues are largely unknown. Here, we performed single-substitution mutagenesis experiments to investigate the roles of individual residues present in the C-terminal loop, including Gln526/Arg526, and the eight conserved Pro residues located near/in various TMDs. The results show that the enzyme activity of ACAT1 with Gln526 is less active than that of ACAT1 with Arg526 by 40%. In addition, several residues in the C-terminal loop are important for maintaining proper ACAT1 protein stability. Other results show that Pro347 plays an important role in modulating enzyme catalysis. Overall, our results imply that the CAG/CGG polymorphism can be utilized to perform ACAT1 activity/human disease susceptibility studies, and that Pro347 located near TMD5 plays an important role in modulating enzyme catalysis. Acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase 1 (ACAT1) contains 550 residues and is a drug target for atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. At residue 526, an A/G single nucleotide polymorphism exists, resulting in glutamine (Q) or arginine (R). We show that enzymatically ACAT1 Q526 is less active than ACAT1 R526 by 40%. We also show that P347 located near TMD #5 modulates enzyme catalysis.
- Alzheimer's disease
- cholesterol metabolism
- single-nucleotide polymorphism
- site-specific mutagenesis