Current Medicinal Chemistry

Atta-ur-Rahman, FRS
Honorary Life Fellow
Kings College
University of Cambridge


Genetic Determinants of HDL Metabolism

Author(s): A. Ossoli, M. Gomaraschi, G. Franceschini and L. Calabresi

Affiliation: Center E. Grossi Paoletti, Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Keywords: ABC transporters, cholesteryl ester transfer protein, high density lipoproteins, lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase.


Plasma high density lipoproteins (HDL) comprise a highly heterogeneous family of lipoprotein particles, with subclasses that can be separated and identified according to density, size, surface charge as well as shape and protein composition. There is evidence that these subclasses may differ in their functional properties. The individual plasma HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) level is generally taken as a snapshot of the steady-state concentration of all circulating HDL subclasses together, but this is insufficient to capture the structural and functional variation in HDL particles. HDL are continuously remodeled and metabolized in plasma and interstitial fluids, through the interaction with a large number of factors, including structural proteins, membrane transporters, enzymes, transfer proteins and receptors. Genetic variation in these factors can lead to essential changes in plasma HDL levels, and to remarkable changes in HDL particle density, size, surface charge, shape, and composition in lipids and apolipoproteins. This review discusses the impact of rare mutations and common variants in genes encoding factors involved in HDL remodeling and metabolism on plasma HDL-C levels and particle distribution. The study of the effects of human genetic variation in major players in HDL metabolism provides important clues on how individual factors modulate the formation, maturation, remodeling and catabolism of HDL.

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Article Details

Page: [2855 - 2863]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/0929867321666140303154452