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Lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] is a highly atherogenic lipoprotein species. A unique feature of Lp(a) is the strong genetic determination of its concentration. The LPA gene is responsible for up to 90% of the variance in Lp(a), but other genes also have an impact. Genome-wide associations studies indicate that the APOE gene, encoding apolipoprotein E (apoE), is the second most important locus modulating Lp(a) concentrations. Population studies clearly show that carriers of the apoE2 variant (ε2) display reduced Lp(a) levels, the lowest concentrations being observed in ε2/ε2 homozygotes. This genotype can lead predisposed adults to develop dysbetalipoproteinemia, a lipid disorder characterized by sharp elevations in cholesterol and triglycerides. However, dysbetalipoproteinemia does not significantly modulate circulating Lp(a). Mechanistically, apoE appears to impair the production but not the catabolism of Lp(a). These observations underline the complexity of Lp(a) metabolism and provide key insights into the pathways governing Lp(a) synthesis and secretion. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


Kévin Chemello, Dirk J Blom, A David Marais, Gilles Lambert, Valentin Blanchard. Genetic and Mechanistic Insights into the Modulation of Circulating Lipoprotein (a) Concentration by Apolipoprotein E Isoforms. Current atherosclerosis reports. 2022 Jun;24(6):399-405

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PMID: 35355214

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