Author(s): Benn M, Benn M
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Abstract Apolipoprotein B is a key component in lipid metabolism. Subendothelial retention of apolipoprotein B containing lipoproteins is a necessary initiating event in atherogenesis, and high plasma levels of apolipoprotein B is a risk factor for atherosclerosis, whereas low levels may provide protection. The present review examines, with focus on general population studies, apolipoprotein B levels as a predictor of ischemic cardiovascular disease, as well as the association of mutations and polymorphisms in APOB with plasma apolipoprotein B levels, and risk of ischemic cardiovascular disease. The studies can be summarized as follows: (1) apolipoprotein B predicts ischemic cardiovascular events in both genders, and is better than LDL cholesterol in this respect; (2) linkage disequilibrium structure in APOB is more complex than expected from HapMap data, because a minimal set of tag single nucleotide polymorphisms capturing the entire variation in APOB cannot be identified, and thus most polymorphisms must be evaluated separately in association studies; (3) APOB mutations and polymorphisms are associated with a range of apolipoprotein B and LDL cholesterol levels, although the magnitude of effect sizes of common polymorphisms are modest; (4) both mutations and polymorphisms are associated with LDL metabolism in vivo; (5) association of APOB mutations and polymorphisms with lipid and disease phenotype cannot be predicted in silico using evolutionary conservation or existing prediction programs; and finally, (6) except for the E4154K polymorphism that possibly predicts a reduction in risk of ischemic cerebrovascular disease and ischemic stroke, common APOB polymorphisms with modest effect sizes on lipid levels do not predict risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, ischemic cerebrovascular disease, or ischemic stroke in the general population.
This article was published in Atherosclerosis
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology