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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1995 Aug;15(8):1015-24.

Severe familial HDL deficiency in French-Canadian kindreds. Clinical, biochemical, and molecular characterization.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory, Clinical Research Institute of Montréal, Québec, Canada.


A decreased level of HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) is the most common lipoprotein abnormality seen in people with premature coronary artery disease (CAD). In many cases, HDL-C reduction in patients with CAD may be the result of increased apo B-containing lipoprotein production by the liver with secondary hypoalphalipoproteinemia. Primary hypoalphalipoproteinemia is seen in approximately 4% of people with CAD. We report findings in four subjects with severe familial HDL deficiency (HDL-C << 5th percentile for age and sex; 0.08 to 0.38 mmol/L) in three French-Canadian kindreds with autosomal codominant inheritance. By inclusion criteria, all four subjects had normal fasting triglycerides and none were diabetic. HDL particle size by gradient gel electrophoresis revealed small HDL particles (estimated Stokes' diameter, 8.14 to 8.30 nm). Apo AI analysis by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and use of isoelectrofocusing gels in affected subjects revealed normal molecular weight (28.3 kD) and normal isoelectrofocusing point but a relative increase in proapoliprotein AI, with near-normal levels of proapolipoprotein AI in plasma, suggesting normal secretion of apo AI. Quantitative Southern blot analysis of the apo AI-CIII-AIV gene cluster reveals no gene rearrangements or allele deletion. Haplotypes of the apo AI gene, determined by use of the restriction enzymes Pst I, Xmn I, and Sst I and of the apo AII gene by use of the enzyme Msp I, did not reveal segregation of the low HDL-C trait with either the apo AI or the AII gene. Sequence analysis of the promoter region of the apo AI gene reveals heterozygosity for guanine-to-adenine substitution at position 76 in two kindreds with no evidence of segregation with the low HDL trait. None of the patients had mutations of the lipoprotein lipase gene common in subjects of French-Canadian descent. Haplotype analysis of the lipoprotein lipase gene did not show segregation with the low HDL trait. Plasma lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activity was found to be within normal levels in affected subjects and in nonaffected first-degree relatives. None of the affected subjects had clinical manifestations of Tangier disease. Two of the four cases examined, both men, had severe CAD and had undergone revascularization procedures. The third is a younger brother of one of these probands and the fourth is a 30-year-old woman, and both were free of clinical CAD. However, in none of the families did the low HDL trait unequivocally cosegregate with CAD.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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