Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) exhibits α-activity on high-density and β-activity on low-density lipoproteins. However, the molecular determinants governing LCAT activation by different apolipoproteins remain elusive. Uncovering these determinants would offer the opportunity to design and explore advanced therapies against dyslipidemias. Here, we have conducted coarse-grained and all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of LCAT with nanodiscs made with α-helical amphiphilic peptides either derived from apolipoproteins A1 and E (apoA1 and apoE) or apoA1 mimetic peptide 22A that was optimized to activate LCAT. This study aims to explore what drives the binding of peptides to our previously identified interaction site in LCAT. We hypothesized that this approach could be used to screen for binding sites of LCAT in different apolipoproteins and would provide insights to differently localized LCAT activities. Our screening approach was able to discriminate apoA1 helixes 4, 6, and 7 as key contributors to the interaction with LCAT supporting the previous research data. The simulations provided detailed molecular determinants driving the interaction with LCAT: the formation of hydrogen bonds or salt bridges between peptides E4 or D4 and LCAT S236 or K238 residues. Additionally, salt bridging between R7 and D73 was observed, depending on the availability of R7. Expanding our investigation to diverse plasma proteins, we detected novel LCAT binding helixes in apoL1, apoB100, and serum amyloid A. Our findings suggest that the same binding determinants, involving E4 or D4 -S236 and R7-D73 interactions, influence LCAT β-activity on low-density lipoproteins, where apoE and or apoB100 are hypothesized to interact with LCAT.

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