Autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia is a rare inherited disorder, characterized by extremely high total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, that has been previously linked to mutations in LDLRAP1. We identified a family with autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia not explained by mutations in LDLRAP1 or other genes known to cause monogenic hypercholesterolemia. The aim of this study was to identify the molecular pathogenesis of autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia in this family.
We used exome sequencing to assess all protein-coding regions of the genome in 3 family members and identified a homozygous exon 8 splice junction mutation (c.894G>A, also known as E8SJM) in LIPA that segregated with the diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia. Because homozygosity for mutations in LIPA is known to cause cholesterol ester storage disease, we performed directed follow-up phenotyping by noninvasively measuring hepatic cholesterol content. We observed abnormal hepatic accumulation of cholesterol in the homozygote individuals, supporting the diagnosis of cholesterol ester storage disease. Given previous suggestions of cardiovascular disease risk in heterozygous LIPA mutation carriers, we genotyped E8SJM in >27 000 individuals and found no association with plasma lipid levels or risk of myocardial infarction, confirming a true recessive mode of inheritance.
By integrating observations from Mendelian and population genetics along with directed clinical phenotyping, we diagnosed clinically unapparent cholesterol ester storage disease in the affected individuals from this kindred and addressed an outstanding question about risk of cardiovascular disease in LIPA E8SJM heterozygous carriers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the design of a targeted resequencing panel for monogenic dyslipidemias (LipidSeq) for the purpose of replacing Sanger sequencing in the clinical detection of dyslipidemia-causing variants. We also evaluate the performance of the LipidSeq approach versus Sanger sequencing in 84 patients with a range of phenotypes including extreme blood lipid concentrations as well as additional dyslipidemias and related metabolic disorders. The panel performs well, with high concordance (95.2%) in samples with known mutations based on Sanger sequencing and a high detection rate (57.9%) of mutations likely to be causative for disease in samples not previously sequenced. Clinical implementation of LipidSeq has the potential to aid in the molecular diagnosis of patients with monogenic dyslipidemias with a high degree of speed and accuracy and at lower cost than either Sanger sequencing or whole exome sequencing. Furthermore, LipidSeq will help to provide a more focused picture of monogenic and polygenic contributors that underlie dyslipidemia while excluding the discovery of incidental pathogenic, clinically actionable variants in non-metabolism related genes, such as oncogenes, that would otherwise be identified by a whole exome approach, thus minimizing potential ethical issues.
The Journal of Lipid Research 02/2014; 55(4). DOI:10.1194/jlr.D045963 · 4.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mining of the genome for lipid genes has since the early 1970s helped to shape our understanding of how triglycerides are packaged (in chylomicrons), repackaged (in very low density lipoproteins; VLDL), and hydrolyzed, and also how remnant and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are cleared from the circulation. Gene discoveries have also provided insights into high-density lipoprotein (HDL) biogenesis and remodeling. Interestingly, at least half of these key molecular genetic studies were initiated with the benefit of prior knowledge of relevant proteins. In addition, multiple important findings originated from studies in mouse, and from other types of non-genetic approaches. Although it appears by now that the main lipid pathways have been uncovered, and that only modulators or adaptor proteins such as those encoded by LDLRAP1, APOA5, ANGPLT3/4, and PCSK9 are currently being discovered, genome wide association studies (GWAS) in particular have implicated many new loci based on statistical analyses; these may prove to have equally large impacts on lipoprotein traits as gene products that are already known. On the other hand, since 2004 - and particularly since 2010 when massively parallel sequencing has become de rigeur - no major new insights into genes governing lipid metabolism have been reported. This is probably because the etiologies of true Mendelian lipid disorders with overt clinical complications have been largely resolved. In the meantime, it has become clear that proving the importance of new candidate genes is challenging. This could be due to very low frequencies of large impact variants in the population. It must further be emphasized that functional genetic studies, while necessary, are often difficult to accomplish, making it hazardous to upgrade a variant that is simply associated to being definitively causative. Also, it is clear that applying a monogenic approach to dissect complex lipid traits that are mostly of polygenic origin is the wrong way to proceed. The hope is that large-scale data acquisition combined with sophisticated computerized analyses will help to prioritize and select the most promising candidate genes for future research. We suggest that at this point in time, investment in sequence technology driven candidate gene discovery could be recalibrated by refocusing efforts on direct functional analysis of the genes that have already been discovered. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: From Genome to Function.
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