Adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein (AFABP: FABP4) is a member of the intracellular lipid-binding protein family that is thought to target long-chain fatty acids to nuclear receptors such as peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor gamma (PPARγ), which in turn plays roles in insulin resistance and obesity. A molecular understanding of AFABP function requires robust isolation of the protein in liganded and free forms as well as characterization of its oligomerization state(s) under physiological conditions. We report development of a protocol to optimize the production of members of this protein family in pure form, including removal of their bound lipids by mixing with hydrophobically functionalized hydroxypropyl dextran beads and validation by two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. The formation of self-associated or covalently bonded protein dimers was evaluated critically using gel filtration chromatography, revealing conditions that promote or prevent formation of disulfide-linked homodimers. The resulting scheme provides a solid foundation for future investigations of AFABP interactions with key ligand and protein partners involved in lipid metabolism.
Wang, Qian; Rizk, Samar; Bernard, Cédric; Lai, May Poh; Kam, David; Storch, Judith; and Stark, Ruth E., "Protocols and pitfalls in obtaining fatty acid-binding proteins for biophysical studies of ligand-protein and protein-protein interactions" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.