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Indian Heart J. 2000 Mar-Apr;52(2):165-70.

Apolipoprotein(a) polymorphism and its association with plasma lipoprotein(a) levels: a north Indian study.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.


Elevated levels of lipoprotein(a) has been regarded as an independent risk factor for coronary, peripheral and cerebral atherosclerosis. The enormous intra-personal variation in the plasma concentration of lipoprotein(a) is almost entirely controlled by the apolipoprotein(a) i.e. gene locus on the chromosome 6q 26-27. The apolipoprotein(a) molecule is highly polymorphic and is known to exist in multiple, genetically determined isoforms. These polymorphisms may be responsible for difference in promoter activity, variable size of apolipoprotein(a) and thereby variation in plasma lipoprotein(a) concentration. We studied the effect of two types of polymorphisms, (i) variation in length of the pentanucleotide repeat in the 5' flanking region starting -1373 bp upstream of AUG codon, and (ii) the Kringle-4 type 2 size polymorphism, on plasma lipoprotein(a) levels in North Indian population. The study group consisted of 88 angiographically assessed male coronary artery disease patients (age range 30-70 years) and 83 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The pentanucleotide repeat polymorphism was analysed using polymerase chain reaction. In all, 8/11 pentanucleotide repeat isoforms were observed. Using SDS-agarose gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting isoforms having 12-50 Kringle-4 type 2 repeats were detected. Our study indicates a strong association of elevated plasma lipoprotein(a) concentration with coronary artery disease. An inverse correlation was seen between lipoprotein concentration and isoform size for both the pentanucleotide repeat polymorphism and the Kringle-4 type 2 polymorphisms; statistically significant difference (p = 0.001) was, however, observed only for the later.

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