Apolipoprotein A-I Q(-2)X Causing Isolated Apolipoprotein A-I Deficiency in a Family with Analphalipoproteinemia

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Abstract

We report a Canadian kindred with a novel mutation in the apolipoprotein (apo)A-I gene causing analphalipoproteinemia. The 34-yr-old proband, product of a consanguineous marriage, had bilateral retinopathy, bilateral cataracts, spinocerebellar ataxia, and tendon xanthomata. High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was < 0.1 mM and apoA-I was undetectable. Genomic DNA sequencing of the proband's apoA-I gene identified a nonsense mutation at codon (-2), which we designate as Q(-2)X. This mutation causes a loss of endonuclease digestion sites for both BbvI and Fnu4HI. Genotyping identified four additional homozygotes, four heterozygotes, and two unaffected subjects among the first-degree relatives. Q(-2)X homozygosity causes a selective failure to produce any portion of mature apoA-I, resulting in very low plasma level of HDL. Heterozygosity results in approximately half-normal apoA-I and HDL. Gradient gel electrophoresis and differential electroimmunodiffusion assay revealed that the HDL particles of the homozygotes had peak Stokes diameter of 7.9 nm and contained apoA-II without apoA-I (Lp-AII). Heterozygotes had an additional fraction of HDL3-like particles. Two of the proband's affected sisters had documented premature coronary heart disease. This kindred, the third reported apoA-I gene mutation causing isolated complete apoA-I deficiency, appears to be at significantly increased risk for atherosclerosis. (J. Clin. Invest. 1994. 93:223-229.) Key words: atherosclerosis. genetics. lipoproteins. coronary heart disease. reverse cholesterol transport

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