Background: Angiopoietin-like proteins (ANGPTLs) are structurally related to the angiopoietins. Total of eight ANGPTLs (from ANGPTL1 to ANGPTL8) have been identified so far. Most ANGPTLs possess multibiological functions on lipid metabolism, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Among them, ANGPTL3 has been shown to regulate the levels of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) made by the liver and play a crucial role in human lipoprotein metabolism.
Method: A systematic appraisal of ANGPTLs was conducted, focusing on the main features of ANGPTL3 that has a significant role in atherosclerosis.
Results: Angiopoietins including ANGPTL3 are vascular growth factors that are highly specific for endothelial cells, perform a variety of other regulatory activities to influence inflammation, and have been shown to possess both pro-atherosclerotic and atheroprotective effects.
Conclusion: ANGPTL3 has been demonstrated as a promising target in the pharmacological management of atherosclerosis. However, many questions remain about its biological functions.