[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated plasma concentrations of HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) are associated with protection from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Animal models indicate that decreased expression of endothelial lipase (LIPG) is inversely associated with HDL-C levels, and genome-wide association studies have identified LIPG variants as being associated with HDL-C levels in humans. We hypothesized that loss-of-function mutations in LIPG may result in elevated HDL-C and therefore performed deep resequencing of LIPG exons in cases with elevated HDL-C levels and controls with decreased HDL-C levels. We identified a significant excess of nonsynonymous LIPG variants unique to cases with elevated HDL-C. In vitro lipase activity assays demonstrated that these variants significantly decreased endothelial lipase activity. In addition, a meta-analysis across 5 cohorts demonstrated that the low-frequency Asn396Ser variant is significantly associated with increased HDL-C, while the common Thr111Ile variant is not. Functional analysis confirmed that the Asn396Ser variant has significantly decreased lipase activity both in vitro and in vivo, while the Thr111Ile variant has normal lipase activity. Our results establish that loss-of-function mutations in LIPG lead to increased HDL-C levels and support the idea that inhibition of endothelial lipase may be an effective mechanism to raise HDL-C.
The Journal of clinical investigation 05/2009; 119(4):1042-50. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, in part due to its strong association with atherogenic dyslipidemia, characterized by high triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. There has been substantial research effort focused on the mechanisms of the link between obesity and atherogenic dyslipidemia, both in the absence and presence of insulin resistance. After a brief overview of the epidemiology of atherogenic dyslipidemia, this article details the known molecular mechanisms of adipocyte function and its relationship to apoB-containing lipoprotein assembly and metabolism, both in the healthy as well as in the obese states. We also discuss the pathophysiology of low HDL cholesterol in obesity and the implications for cardiovascular disease risk.