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J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 1;280(13):12559-66. Epub 2005 Jan 13.

The expression of intact and mutant human apoAI/CIII/AIV/AV gene cluster in transgenic mice.

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  • 1National Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, People's Republic of China.


The apoAI/CIII/AIV gene cluster is involved in lipid metabolism and has a complex pattern of gene expression modulated by a common regulatory element, the apoCIII enhancer. A new member of this cluster, apolipoprotein (apo) AV, has recently been discovered as a novel modifier in triglyceride metabolism. To determine the expression of all four apo genes in combination and, most importantly, whether the transcription of apoAV is coregulated by the apoCIII enhancer in the cluster, we generated an intact transgenic line carrying the 116-kb human apoAI/CIII/AIV/AV gene cluster and a mutant transgenic line in which the apoCIII enhancer was deleted from the 116-kb structure. We demonstrated that the apoCIII enhancer regulated hepatic and intestinal apoAI, apoCIII, and apoAIV expression; however, it did not direct the newly identified apoAV in the cluster. Furthermore, human apo genes displayed integrated position-independent expression and a closer approximation of copy number-dependent expression in the intact transgenic mice. Because apoCIII and apoAV play opposite roles in triglyceride homeostasis, we analyzed the lipid profiles in our transgenic mice to assess the effects of human apoAI gene cluster expression on lipid metabolism. The triglyceride level was elevated in intact transgenic mice but decreased in mutant ones compared with nontransgenic mice. In addition, the expression of human apoAI and apoAIV elevated high density lipoprotein cholesterol in transgenic mice fed an atherogenic diet. In conclusion, our studies with human apoAI/CIII/AIV/AV gene cluster transgenic models showed that the apoCIII enhancer regulated expression of apoAI, apo-CIII, and apoAIV but not apoAV in vivo and showed the influences of expression of the entire cluster on lipid metabolism.

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