We describe a kindred in which the proband and 6 of his 12 children have hypobetalipoproteinemia. The plasma lipoproteins of the affected subjects contained a unique species of apolipoprotein (apo) B, apo B67, in addition to the normal species, apo B100 and apo B48. The size of apo B67 and immunochemical studies with a panel of apo B-specific antibodies indicated that apo B67 was a truncated species of apo B that contained approximately the amino-terminal 3,000-3,100 amino acids of apo B100. Sequencing of genomic apo B clones revealed that affected family members were heterozygous for a mutant apo B allele containing a single nucleotide deletion in exon 26 (cDNA nucleotide 9327). This frameshift mutation is predicted to result in the synthesis of a truncated apo B containing 3,040 amino acids. Apo B67 is present in low levels in the plasma but is easily detectable within the very low density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein fractions. Examination of the proband's immediate family revealed seven normolipidemic subjects and seven subjects with hypobetalipoproteinemia. In the affected subjects, the mean total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were 120 and 42 mg/dl, respectively. A significantly higher mean high density lipoprotein cholesterol level was found in the affected subjects (75 vs. 55 mg/dl). We hypothesize that the elevated high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in subjects heterozygous for the apo B67 mutation may be metabolically linked to the low levels of apo B-containing lipoproteins in their plasma.
F K Welty, S T Hubl, V R Pierotti, S G Young
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