[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To better understand the role of lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) in lipoprotein metabolism through the genetic and biochemical characterization of families carrying mutations in the LCAT gene.
Thirteen families carrying 17 different mutations in the LCAT gene were identified by Lipid Clinics and Departments of Nephrology throughout Italy. DNA analysis of 82 family members identified 15 carriers of 2 mutant LCAT alleles, 11 with familial LCAT deficiency (FLD) and 4 with fish-eye disease (FED). Forty-four individuals carried 1 mutant LCAT allele, and 23 had a normal genotype. Plasma unesterified cholesterol, unesterified/total cholesterol ratio, triglycerides, very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and pre-beta high-density lipoprotein (LDL) were elevated, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I, apolipoprotein A-II, apolipoprotein B, LpA-I, LpA-I:A-II, cholesterol esterification rate, LCAT activity and concentration, and LDL and HDL3 particle size were reduced in a gene-dose-dependent manner in carriers of mutant LCAT alleles. No differences were found in the lipid/lipoprotein profile of FLD and FED cases, except for higher plasma unesterified cholesterol and unesterified/total cholesterol ratio in the former.
In a large series of subjects carrying mutations in the LCAT gene, the inheritance of a mutated LCAT genotype causes a gene-dose-dependent alteration in the plasma lipid/lipoprotein profile, which is remarkably similar between subjects classified as FLD or FED.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type III hyperlipoproteinemia, or dysbetalipoproteinemia, is commonly associated with apolipoprotein E2 homozygosity (Cys112, Cys158). Apo E2-Christchurch (Arg136-->Ser), a rare mutation of the Apo E gene, located in the receptor-binding domain of the protein, has been found to be associated in the vast majority of cases of dysbetalipoproteinemia.
This is the first report of two Italian kindreds carrying the Arg136-->Ser mutation. One family is a four-generation kindred from Genoa (Liguria, Italy) with a high rate of mortality due to coronary artery disease: the proband was a 51-year-old woman with previous myocardial infarction and residual angina, severe carotid atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial vascular disease and arterial hypertension. The other family was identified in Palermo (Sicily, Italy): the proband was an overweight 62-year-old man with a mixed form of hyperlipidemia. The mutation, which was identified by means of Apo E genotyping followed by direct sequencing, co-segregated with the same haplotype in the two families.
The family histories and clinical examinations of these subjects clearly show that the Apo E Arg136-->Ser variant fully expresses a type III phenotype in association with a second allele coding for Apo E2, and only partially in association with a second allele coding for Apo E4.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Familial defective apolipoprotein (apo) B-100 together with familial hypercholesterolemia are the two common genetic conditions that cause hypercholesterolemia. Familial defective apolipoprotein B-100 is due to mutations around codon 3500 of the apo B gene. The most-characterized mutation is a G>A transition at nucleotide 10,708 that results in the substitution of arginine by glutamine at codon 3500 (Apo B Arg3500Gln). Two other mutations are caused by a C>T transition, one at nucleotide 10,800 (Apo B Arg3531Cys) and the other at nucleotide 10,707 (apo B Arg3500Trp). In the present study we describe three new Italian cases of familial defective apolipoprotein B-100 (Apo B Arg3500Gln), one from the Liguria region and two from Sicily, and the haplotype of the apo B gene co-segregating with the mutation. By screening two groups of probands, clinically diagnosed as having Familial Hypercholesterolemia (700 from mainland Italy and 305 from Sicily), the prevalence of familial defective apolipoprotein B-100 due to Arg3500Gln was found to be very low (0.28% and 0.65%, respectively). The Arg3531Cys mutation was not detected in any proband. In the three new families with Arg3500Gln mutation in the present study and in one previously described in Italy, the mutation was associated with a unique apo B haplotype, which is consistent with data previously reported for Caucasian patients [XbaI-, MspI+, EcoRI-, presence of the 5' signal peptide insertion (Ins) allele, and the 49-repeat allele of the 3'-VNTR].
Clinical and Experimental Medicine 10/2001; 1(3):151-4. · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with familial lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) deficiency very often show progressive glomerulosclerosis with evolution to end-stage disease. High levels of an abnormal lipoprotein (lipoprotein X) cause glomerular capillary endothelial damage. The ultrastructural study of renal biopsy specimens shows characteristic glomerular deposits of membrane-like, cross-striated structures and vacuole structures. The gene encoding for LCAT has been mapped to chromosome 16q22.1, and several mutations of this gene cause LCAT deficiency which is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait and which is characterized by corneal opacities, normochromic normocytic anemia, and renal dysfunction. Herein we report clinical features and renal histological findings concerning a 24-year-old male patient with classical familial LCAT deficiency due to two different allelic mutations: a nonsense mutation inherited from the father and a missense mutation inherited from the mother. Moreover, the patient showed glomerular histological lesions and an immunofluorescent glomerular pattern typical of hypocomplementemic membranoproliferative type II glomerulonephritis (dense-deposit disease). The nature of electron-dense material that characterizes dense-deposit disease is still unknown, but there are suggestions that some chemical modifications might occur in the renal basement membranes. Therefore, this clinical case might induce to consider possible relations between disorders of the lipoprotein metabolism and renal dense-deposit disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seventy-one mutations of the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor gene were identified in 282 unrelated
Italian familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) heterozygotes. By extending genotype analysis to families of the index cases,
we identified 12 mutation clusters and localized them in specific areas of Italy. To evaluate the impact of these mutations
on the clinical expression of FH, the clusters were separated into 2 groups: receptor-defective and receptor-negative,
according to the LDL receptor defect caused by each mutation. These 2 groups were comparable in terms of the patients’
age, sex distribution, body mass index, arterial hypertension, and smoking status. In receptor-negative subjects, LDL
cholesterol was higher (118%) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol lower (25%) than the values found in
receptor-defective subjects. The prevalence of tendon xanthomas and coronary artery disease (CAD) was 2-fold higher
in receptor-negative subjects. In patients >30 years of age in both groups, the presence of CAD was related to age,
arterial hypertension, previous smoking, and LDL cholesterol level. Independent contributors to CAD in the
receptor-defective subjects were male sex, arterial hypertension, and LDL cholesterol level; in the receptor-negative
subjects, the first 2 variables were strong predictors of CAD, whereas the LDL cholesterol level had a lower impact than
in receptor-defective subjects. Overall, in receptor-negative subjects, the risk of CAD was 2.6-fold that of receptordefective
subjects. Wide interindividual variability in LDL cholesterol levels was found in each cluster. Apolipoprotein
E genotype analysis showed a lowering effect of the ε2 allele and a raising effect of the ε4 allele on the LDL cholesterol
level in both groups; however, the apolipoprotein E genotype accounted for only 4% of the variation in LDL cholesterol.
Haplotype analysis showed that all families of the major clusters shared the same intragenic haplotype cosegregating
with the mutation, thus suggesting the presence of common ancestors.
Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 10/2000; · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyzed the molecular defect in the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) gene of a young boy from Sardinia who had primary hyperchylomicronemia, pancreatitis, and a complete LPL deficiency in post-heparin plasma. Analysis of LPL gene was performed by using single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and direct sequencing of SSCP-positive region. The proband was homozygous for a C > A transversion in exon 6, which converts the codon for tyrosine at position 302 into a termination codon and eliminates an RsaI restriction site; this allowed the rapid screening of the proband's family members, among whom nine heterozygotes and one additional homozygote were identified. The homozygote was the proband's paternal grandmother who had shown the first clinical manifestation (recurrent pancreatitis) of LPL deficiency at the age of 54 years. LPL mutation carriers showed a mild dyslipidemic phenotype characterized by a reduction of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, HDL-C/total cholesterol ratio, and low density lipoprotein (LDL) size, associated with a variable increase of triglyceride levels. Five of these carriers were also heterozygotes for beta-thalassemia (Q39X mutation). In these double mutation carriers, plasma HDL-C levels were higher and plasma triglycerides tended to be lower than in carriers of LPL mutation alone. The Tyr302 > Term mutation encodes a truncated protein of 301 amino acids that is probably not secreted by the LPL producing cells. This is the first mutation of LPL gene found in Sardinians.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the genetic features of the Sardinian population is the high prevalence of hemoglobin disorders. It has been estimated that 13% to 33% of Sardinians carry a mutant allele of the alpha-globin gene (alpha-thalassemia trait) and that 6% to 17% are beta-thalassemia carriers. In this population, a single mutation of beta-globin gene (Q39X, beta(0) 39) accounts for >95% of beta-thalassemia cases. Because previous studies have shown that Sardinian beta-thalassemia carriers have lower total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol than noncarriers, we wondered whether this LDL-lowering effect of the beta-thalassemia trait was also present in subjects with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). In a group of 63 Sardinian patients with the clinical diagnosis of FH, we identified 21 unrelated probands carrying 7 different mutations of the LDL receptor gene, 2 already known (313+1 g>a and C95R) and 5 not previously reported (D118N, C255W, A378T, T413R, and Fs572). The 313+1 g>a and Fs572 mutations were found in several families. In cluster Fs572, the plasma LDL cholesterol level was 5.76+/-1.08 mmol/L in subjects with beta(0)-thalassemia trait and 8.25+/-1.66 mmol/L in subjects without this trait (P<0.001). This LDL-lowering effect was confirmed in an FH heterozygote of the same cluster who had beta(0)-thalassemia major and whose LDL cholesterol level was below the 50th percentile of the distribution in the normal Sardinian population. The hypocholesterolemic effect of beta(0)-thalassemia trait emerged also when we pooled the data from all FH subjects with and without beta(0)-thalassemia trait, regardless of the type of mutation in the LDL receptor gene. The LDL-lowering effect of beta(0)-thalassemia may be related to (1) the mild erythroid hyperplasia, which would increase the LDL removal by the bone marrow, and (2) the chronic activation of the monocyte-macrophage system, causing an increased secretion of some cytokines (interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) known to affect the hepatic secretion and the receptor-mediated removal of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins. The observation that our FH subjects with beta(0)-thalassemia trait (compared with noncarriers) have an increase of blood reticulocytes (40%) and plasma levels of interleukin-6 (+60%) supports these hypotheses. The lifelong LDL-lowering effect of beta(0)-thalassemia trait might slow the development and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in FH.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was the characterization of mutations of the LDL receptor gene in 39 Italian patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, who were examined during the period 1994 to 1996. The age of the patients ranged from 1 to 64 years; one third of them were older than 30. Plasma LDL cholesterol level ranged from 10.8 to 25.1 mmol/L. The residual LDL receptor activity, measured in cultured fibroblasts of 32 patients, varied from <2% to 30% of normal and was inversely correlated with the plasma LDL cholesterol level (r=-0.665; P<0.003). The most severe coronary atherosclerosis was observed in those patients with the lowest residual LDL receptor activity (</=5% of normal) and the highest plasma LDL cholesterol levels. Twenty-nine patients (23 of whom were unrelated) were found to be homozygotes at the LDL receptor locus. In this group we discovered 2 major rearrangements and 12 different point mutations (9 in the coding region and 3 in splice sites). Some mutations (D200G, C358R, V502M, G528D, and P664L) were found in 3 or more unrelated patients. Patients with the same mutation shared the same haplotype at the LDL receptor gene locus and came from the same geographic area. Ten patients (9 of whom were unrelated) were found to be compound heterozygotes. The mutations found in this group consisted of one large deletion and 12 point mutations (11 in the coding sequence and one in a splice site). In 3 compound heterozygotes we failed to identify the second mutant allele at the LDL receptor locus. These observations confirm the allelic heterogeneity underlying familial hypercholesterolemia in the Italian population and indicate that the variability of phenotypic expression of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is, to a large extent, related to the type of mutation of the LDL receptor gene.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Severe hypercholesterolemia was found in an 11-year-old boy with no family history of familial hypercholesterolemia. The reduced LDL-receptor activity in cultured skin fibroblasts (40% 125I-LDL degradation as compared with a control cell line) indicated the presence of an LDL-receptor defect. The analysis of the promoter region and the exons of LDL-receptor gene by single strand conformation polymorphism revealed an abnormal migration pattern in exon 1, which was due to a T --> A transversion at nucleotide 28 of the cDNA. This novel mutation causes an arginine for tryptophane substitution at position - 12 of the signal peptide (W-12R) and introduces an AviII restriction site in exon 1. Screening of the mutation by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of exon 1 and AviII digestion revealed that none of the proband's family members carried the mutation. Non-paternity was excluded after the analysis of a battery of 14 short tandem repeats located in 13 different chromosomes. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the proband is heterozygous for a 'de novo' mutation of the LDL-receptor gene producing a non-conservative amino acid substitution. We suggest that the change in the net charge of the signal peptide, caused by the addition of a positively charged amino acid, impairs the co-translational translocation of the nascent receptor protein across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane.