Lipase maturation factor 1 (LMF1) is predicted to be a polytopic protein localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. It functions in the post-translational attainment of enzyme activity for both lipoprotein lipase and hepatic lipase. By using transmembrane prediction methods in mouse and human orthologs, models of LMF1 topology were constructed and tested experimentally. Employing a tagging strategy that used insertion of ectopic glycan attachment sites and terminal fusions of green fluorescent protein, we established a five-transmembrane model, thus dividing LMF1 into six domains. Three domains were found to face the cytoplasm (the amino-terminal domain and loops B and D), and the other half was oriented to the ER lumen (loops A and C and the carboxyl-terminal domain). This representative model shows the arrangement of an evolutionarily conserved domain within LMF1 (DUF1222) that is essential to lipase maturation. DUF1222 comprises four of the six domains, with the two largest ones facing the ER lumen. We showed for the first time, using several naturally occurring variants featuring DUF1222 truncations, that Lmf1 interacts physically with lipoprotein lipase and hepatic lipase and localizes the lipase interaction site to loop C within DUF1222. We discuss the implication of our results with regard to lipase maturation and DUF1222 domain structure.
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