The effect of genetic variation inPCSK9on the LDL-cholesterol response to statin therapy

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Abstract

Statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and prevent cardiovascular disease. However, there is wide individual variation in LDL-C response. Drugs targeting proprotein convertase subtilin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) lower LDL-C and will be used with statins. PCSK9 mediates the degradation of LDL receptors (LDLRs). Therefore, a greater LDL-C response to statins would be expected in individuals with PCSK9 loss-of-function (LOF) variants because LDLR degradation is reduced. To examine this hypothesis, the effect of 11 PCSK9 functional variants on statin response was determined in 669 African Americans. One LOF variant, rs11591147 (p.R46L) was significantly associated with LDL-C response to statin (P = 0.002). In the three carriers, there was a 55.6% greater LDL-C reduction compared with non-carriers. Another functional variant, rs28362261 (p.N425S), was marginally associated with statin response (P = 0.0064).The effect of rs11591147 was present in individuals of European ancestry (N = 2388, P = 0.054). The therapeutic effect of statins may be modified by genetic variation in PCSK9.

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