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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evidence against alterations in Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activity in familial combined hyperlipidemia.

Elevated concentrations of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides are characteristic of familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL) which may also present with reduced high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations. Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) plays a key role in reverse cholesterol transport by converting unesterified cholesterol to cholesterol ester in the process of maturation of HDL in the presence of its activator, apolipoprotein (apo) A-I. We hypothesised that alterations in LCAT activity or plasma concentrations or gene sequence of apo A-I could influence HDL metabolism in these patients. We studied cholesterol concentrations of high density lipoprotein subfractions and LCAT activity in 25 FCHL subjects and 48 controls. Total HDL (p=0.018) and HDL2 (p=0.008) were significantly decreased in the FCHL group compared with controls. After analyses with adjusted data only HDL2 remained significantly decreased in the FCHL group (p=0.050). The LDLc/HDLc and A-I/HDLc ratios were significantly elevated in the FCHL group (p <0.0001), the latter suggesting the existence of compositional differences in the HDL particles of the FCHL individuals. LCAT activity assessed in the FCHL (19.94+/-3.95 nmol/ml per h) and control (20.13+/-6.86 nmol/ml per h) groups showed no statistically significant differences. A significant positive correlation of LCAT activity with total HDL (r=0.42), HDL3 cholesterol (r=0.46) and apolipoprotein A-I (r=0.47) was observed in affected subjects but not in controls. An association between a Ga(-75)-A variation in the promoter region of the apo A-I gene and elevated concentrations of apo A-I (p=0.009) and apo C-III (p=0.041) was observed. This association was strongly influenced by the status of the subject providing further evidence for a regulatory role of this genetic region in the expression of FCHL. Our data suggests that LCAT activity is normal in FCHL and, therefore, does not account for the abnormalities observed in these patients essentially with regard to the HDL2 subfraction.[1]


  1. Evidence against alterations in Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activity in familial combined hyperlipidemia. Ribalta, J., La Ville, A.E., Vallvé, J.C., Girona, J., Masana, L. Atherosclerosis (1998) [Pubmed]
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