Apolipoprotein E polymorphism in Southern Iran: E4 allele in the lowest reported amounts

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Apolipoprotein E (apoE) with three major alleles E2, E3 and E4 is one of the critical genes in lipid metabolism. Common apoE alleles are in association with an increase in risk for central nervous and cardiovascular diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, hyperlipoproteinemia and stroke. ApoE3 is known as the most frequent allele in all populations, while association of apoE gene polymorphism with reported diseases have mostly been related to other two major alleles especially apoE4.


To determine of apoE alleles frequencies in Southern Iran and comparison of those frequencies with other populations.


DNA was extracted from the whole blood of 198 healthy unrelated candidates from population of Fars Province, Southern Iran, for apoE genotyping who were checked up by a physician. The frequencies of apoE alleles were compared with other populations by χ2 test.


The frequencies of E2, E3 and E4 were 0.063, 0.886 and 0.051 respectively. These values were similar to those reported from populations of Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, India, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Sardinia Islands of Italy and two Iranian populations but were different from South of Italy and Caucasians in other Europe regions, American, American-Indian, African, East Asian and Saudi populations (P < 0.05).


The frequency of E4 allele as a genetic risk factor for some multifactorial diseases in the population of Southern Iran is in the lowest reported amounts in the world. Iranian population has Caucasoid origin but differs from some Caucasian populations in Europe and America. The results of present study are in agreement with the historical evidences which show admixture of Iranian population with other populations and some studies based on genetic polymorphisms in the population of Southern Iran.

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