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Impact of LDLR and PCSK9 pathogenic variants in Japanese heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia patients

      Highlights

      • LDLR and PCSK9 variants detected in Japanese heterozygous FH were updated.
      • Clinical significance of LDLR and PCSK9 variants were annotated in heterozygous FH.
      • LDLR and PCSK9 pathogenic variants were found in 46% and 7.8% of FH patients, respectively.
      • The proportion of LDLR pathogenic variants decreased with increased age of CAD onset.

      Abstract

      Background and aims

      More than 4970 variants in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene and 350 variants in the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) gene have been reported in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) patients. However, the effects of these variants on FH pathophysiology have not been fully clarified. We aimed to update the LDLR and PCSK9 variants in Japanese heterozygous FH (HeFH) patients and annotate their clinical significance for the genetic diagnosis of HeFH.

      Methods

      A genetic analysis of the LDLR and PCSK9 genes was performed in 801 clinically diagnosed HeFH patients. The association of the pathogenic variants with the clinical FH phenotype was examined.

      Results

      Pathogenic variants in the LDLR and PCSK9 genes were found in 46% (n = 296) and 7.8% (n = 51) of unrelated FH patients (n = 650), respectively. The prevalence of Achilles tendon thickness was low (44%) in patients harbouring PCSK9 pathogenic variants. Furthermore, 17% of unrelated FH patients harboured one of five frequent LDLR pathogenic variants: c.1845+2T > C, c.1012T > A: p.(Cys338Ser), c.1297G > C: p.(Asp433His), c.1702C > G: p.(Leu568Val), and c.2431A > T: p.(Lys811*). Patients harbouring the c.1845+2T > C and c.1702C > G: p.(Leu568Val) variants had significantly lower serum LDL-cholesterol levels and higher serum HDL-cholesterol levels, respectively, compared with those harbouring the other LDLR pathogenic variants. The proportion of LDLR pathogenic variants was higher in patients with a younger age of coronary artery disease (CAD) onset and significantly decreased as the age of CAD onset increased.

      Conclusions

      This study annotated the clinical significance and characteristics of LDLR and PCSK9 pathogenic variants in Japanese HeFH patients.

      Graphical abstract

      Keywords

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