Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I)-mediated cholesterol efflux involves the binding of apoA-I to the plasma membrane via its C terminus and requires cellular ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABCA1) activity. ApoA-I also stimulates secretion of apolipoprotein E ( apoE) from macrophage foam cells, although the mechanism of this process is not understood. In this study, we demonstrate that apoA-I stimulates secretion of apoE independently of both ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux and of lipid binding by its C terminus. Pulse-chase experiments using S-35-labeled cellular apoE demonstrate that macrophage apoE exists in both relatively mobile ( Em) and stable (E-s) pools, that apoA-I diverts apoE from degradation to secretion, and that only a small proportion of apoA-I-mobilized apoE is derived from the cell surface. The structural requirements for induction of apoE secretion and cholesterol efflux are clearly dissociated, as C-terminal deletions in recombinant apoA-I reduce cholesterol efflux but increase apoE secretion, and deletion of central helices 5 and 6 decreases apoE secretion without perturbing cholesterol efflux. Moreover, a range of 11- and 22-mer alpha-helical peptides representing amphipathic alpha-helical segments of apoA-I stimulate apoE secretion whereas only the C-terminal alpha-helix ( domains 220 - 241) stimulates cholesterol efflux. Other alpha-helix-containing apolipoproteins (apoA-II, apoA-IV, apoE2, apoE3, apoE4) also stimulate apoE secretion, implying a positive feedback autocrine loop for apoE secretion, although apoE4 is less effective. Finally, apoA-I stimulates apoE secretion normally from macrophages of two unrelated subjects with genetically confirmed Tangier Disease ( mutations C733R and c. 5220 - 5222delTCT; and mutations A1046D and c. 4629 - 4630insA), despite severely inhibited cholesterol efflux. We conclude that apoA-I stimulates secretion of apoE independently of cholesterol efflux, and that this represents a novel, ABCA-1-independent, positive feedback pathway for stimulation of potentially anti-atherogenic apoE secretion by alpha-helix-containing molecules including apoA-I and apoE.