Rare apolipoprotein E variant identified in a patient with Type III hyperlipidaemia

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      We report rare apolipoprotein E variant in an Irish female with Type III hyperlipidaemia who has the phenotype E2E1 as determined by isoelectric focusing. Sequence analysis of the apolipoprotein E gene from the proband and from four other family members, using DNA amplified by the polymerase chain reaction, demonstrated the presence of a point mutation in the common ε2 allele with a G→A transition at nucleotide 3791. This was confirmed by digestion with the restriction endonuclease TaqI, which cuts at a new site within the apolipoprotein E gene, created by the base change. This mutation results in a substitution of aspartic acid for glycine at position 127 of the mature protein. We believe this to be the first description of this apolipoprotein E variant in a family from the British Isles. The mutation appears to be ‘recessive’ with respect to the expression of Type III hyperlipidaemia, although it may be somewhat more potent in this regard than the parent ε2 allele. The Type III hyperlipidaemia is responsive to treatment with diet and gemfibrozil.


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