Identification of genetic variation influencing apolipoprotein E levels: Follow-up of genome-wide linkage scans in the GENOA study
Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) plays a major role in the metabolism of high density and low density lipoproteins (HDL and LDL). Its common protein isoforms (E2, E3, E4) are risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) and explain between 16 to 23% of the inter-individual variation in plasma apoE levels. Linkage analysis has been completed for plasma apoE levels in the GENOA study (Genetic Epidemiology Network of Atherosclerosis). After stratification of the population by lipoprotein levels and body mass index (BMI) to create more homogeneity with regard to biological context for apoE levels, Hispanic families showed significant linkage on chromosome 17q for two strata (LOD=2.93 at 104 cM for a low cholesterol group, LOD=3.04 at 111 cM for a low cholesterol, high HDLC group). Replication of 17q linkage was observed for apoB and apoE levels in the unstratified Hispanic and African-American populations, and for apoE levels in African-American families. Replication of this 17q linkage in different populations and strata provides strong support for the presence of gene(s) in this region with significant roles in the determination of inter-individual variation in plasma apoE levels. Through a positional and functional candidate gene approach, ten genes were identified in the 17q linked region, and 62 polymorphisms in these genes were genotyped in the GENOA families. Association analysis was performed with FBAT, GEE, and variance-component based tests followed by conditional linkage analysis. Association studies with partial coverage of TagSNPs in the gene coding for apolipoprotein H (APOH) were performed, and significant results were found for 2 SNPs (APOH_20951 and APOH_05407) in the Hispanic low cholesterol strata accounting for 3.49% of the inter-individual variation in plasma apoE levels. Among the other candidate genes, we identified a haplotype block in the ACE1 gene that contains two major haplotypes associated with apoE levels as well as total cholesterol, apoB and LDLC levels in the unstratified Hispanic population. Identifying genes responsible for the remaining 60% of inter-individual variation in plasma apoE level, will yield new insights into the understanding of genetic interactions involved in the lipid metabolism, and a more precise understanding of the risk factors leading to CAD.
Leduc, Magalie Sophie, "Identification of genetic variation influencing apolipoprotein E levels: Follow-up of genome-wide linkage scans in the GENOA study" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3256552.