Major locus influencing plasma APO-A1 levels also controls plasma HDL3- C concentrations

G. Livshits, M. Vainder, M. Blettner, E. Graff, J. Wahrendorf, D. Brunner

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Elevated plasma levels of apolipoprotein A1 (APO-A1) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) are important protective factors for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Using the data on plasma concentrations of APOA1, and HDL-C particles HDL2-C and HDL3-C in 970 Israeli individuals belonging to 228 pedigrees, we tested the hypothesis that a major locus influencing interindividual variation in APO-A1 levels also controls interindividual variation in HDL3-C and HDL2-C levels. Univariate and bivariate complex segregation analyses, as implemented in two statistical packages (MAN-3 and PAP-4.0) were applied to test the hypothesis. The results of the analysis clearly indicated the possibility of major gene involvement in the determination of plasma concentration variation of each of the 3 study variables. The results provide strong evidence in support of our hypothesis that HDL3-C genetic variation fully depends on the APO-A1 major locus. In particular, environmental and sporadic models were strongly rejected (P < 0.001) in bivariate analysis. The hypothesis of no pleiotropic effect of the putative APO-A1 locus on HDL3-C transmission was also unequivocally rejected (P < 0.001), while the bivariate Mendelian model was accepted (P > 0.05). The results of bivariate analysis of APO-A1 effect on HDL2-C were not clear. They indicated the possibility of the existence of slight genetic covariation between the two variables, and as yet we were unable to decipher the mode of covariation with the applied models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-249
Number of pages13
JournalGenetic Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Complex segregation analysis
  • Lipoproteins
  • Major gene effect
  • Pleiotropy


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