FH-Freiburg: a novel missense mutation (C317Y) in growth factor repeat A of the low density lipoprotein receptor gene in a German patient with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia


      We describe the characterization of a novel mutation in the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) gene in a patient with true homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The combined use of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of genomic DNA revealed a guanine to adenine base substitution at nucleotide position 1013 of the LDL-R cDNA. This point mutation results in a change from cysteine to tyrosine at amino acid residue 317 of repeat A of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) precursor homology domain. Binding, uptake and degradation of iodinated LDL in skin fibroblasts from the homozygous patient were less than 10% of normal. In contrast, binding, uptake and degradation of iodinated VLDL was reduced by only 60, 30, and 38%, respectively. Incubation of the patient’s fibroblasts in the presence of cholesterol diminished the residual binding of VLDL by 50%, suggesting that the loss of the highly conserved cysteine at position 317 results in a LDL-R that fails to bind LDL, but retains some ability to bind VLDL by interacting with the apolipoprotein E. Both parents were heterozygous for the C317Y mutation. Interestingly, however, the father presented with markedly elevated levels of triglycerides and VLDL cholesterol, whereas his LDL cholesterol was unexpectedly low. The mother of the index patient had only slightly elevated LDL cholesterol. These observations testify to the biological complexity of genotype-environment interactions in individuals carrying mutations at the LDL-R locus and indicate that genetic analysis importantly complements the clinical and biochemical diagnosis of patients with hyperlipidemia.



      Apo, apolipoprotein (), DGGE, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (), EDTA, ethylenediaminetetraacetate (), PCR, polymerase chain reaction (), PID, pedigree identification number (), RFLP, restriction fragment length polymorphism (), VLDL, LDL, HDL, very low, low and high density lipoproteins (), VLDL-chol, LDL-chol, HDL-chol, cholesterol of VLDL, LDL and HDL ()
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