Lipoprotein structure


Low-density lipoprotein particles play a key role in the transport of cholesterol in a human organism. Disorder in the transport mechanisms leads to dangerous increase of the cholesterol concentration in blood. The latter provokes formation of clots in blood vessels and causes ischaemic heart disease.


The structure of a low-density lipoprotein particle revealed by X-ray analysis.

The protein envelope of the particle is shown yellow, the lipid nucleus is blue.


free cholesterol
ApoB protein
cholesterol ether
the particle contains more than 3000 000 atoms


The work on revealing the lipoprotein structure was done at the Institute of Mathematical Problems of Biology, RAS in collaboration with Medical University of Freiburg (Germany), Nancy University (France) and the Institute of Genetics and Molecule and Cell Biology, Strasbourg (France). Use was made of original computer methods developed in the IMPB RAS.