Size and shape of the model lipoprotein complex formed between glucagon and dimyristoylglycerophosphocholine.
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Glucagon forms water-soluble lipoprotein particles with dimyristoylglycerophosphocholine at temperatures below the phase-transition temperature of the lipid. The shape and size of this lipoprotein particle were studied by viscometry, sedimentation velocity, sedimentation equilibrium, quasielastic light scattering, and electron microscopy using both negative-staining and freeze-fracture techniques. The lipoprotein particle has an oblate ellipsoid shape with dimensions of 250 X 70 A and an approximate molecular weight of 1.4 X 106. This molecular weight is similar to that found for small unilamellar phospholipid vesicles but is achieved in the presence of glucagon without sonication. The shape of the glucagon lipoprotein particle is similar to that found for the complex formed between some serum apolipoproteins and dimyristoylglycerophosphocholine. From these data, a model for the glucagon-dimyristoylglycerophosphocholine is proposed consisting of a single bilayer of phospholipid with the glucagon incorporated into the bilayer structure in such a manner as not greatly to disturb the average area occupied per phospholipid molecule.
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