Targeted genetic testing for familial hypercholesterolaemia using next generation sequencing: a population-based study.
ABSTRACT: Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is a common Mendelian condition which, untreated, results in premature coronary heart disease. An estimated 88% of FH cases are undiagnosed in the UK. We previously validated a method for FH mutation detection in a lipid clinic population using next generation sequencing (NGS), but this did not address the challenge of identifying index cases in primary care where most undiagnosed patients receive healthcare. Here, we evaluate the targeted use of NGS as a potential route to diagnosis of FH in a primary care population subset selected for hypercholesterolaemia.We used microfluidics-based PCR amplification coupled with NGS and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) to detect mutations in LDLR, APOB and PCSK9 in three phenotypic groups within the Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study including 193 individuals with high total cholesterol, 232 with moderately high total cholesterol despite cholesterol-lowering therapy, and 192 normocholesterolaemic controls.Pathogenic mutations were found in 2.1% of hypercholesterolaemic individuals, in 2.2% of subjects on cholesterol-lowering therapy and in 42% of their available first-degree relatives. In addition, variants of uncertain clinical significance (VUCS) were detected in 1.4% of the hypercholesterolaemic and cholesterol-lowering therapy groups. No pathogenic variants or VUCS were detected in controls.We demonstrated that population-based genetic testing using these protocols is able to deliver definitive molecular diagnoses of FH in individuals with high cholesterol or on cholesterol-lowering therapy. The lower cost and labour associated with NGS-based testing may increase the attractiveness of a population-based approach to FH detection compared to genetic testing with conventional sequencing. This could provide one route to increasing the present low percentage of FH cases with a genetic diagnosis.
Project description:Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an underdiagnosed genetic inherited condition that may lead to premature coronary artery disease (CAD). FH has an estimated prevalence in the general population of about 1:313. However, its prevalence in patients with premature STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) has not been widely studied. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of FH in patients with premature STEMI. Cardiovascular risk factors, LDLc (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) evolution, and differences between genders were also evaluated. Consecutive patients were referred for cardiac catheterization to our center due to STEMI suspicion in 2018. From the 80 patients with confirmed premature CAD (men < 55 and women < 60 years old with confirmed CAD), 56 (48 men and eight women) accepted to be NGS sequenced for the main FH genes. Clinical information and DLCN (Dutch Lipid Clinic Network) score were analyzed. Only one male patient had probable FH (6-7 points) and no one reached a clinically definite diagnosis. Genetic testing confirmed that the only patient with a DLCN score ?6 has HF (1.8%). Smoking and high BMI the most frequent cardiovascular risk factors (>80%). Despite high doses of statins being expected to reduce LDLc levels at STEMI to current dyslipidemia guidelines LDL targets (<55 mg/dL), LDLc control levels were out of range. Although still 5.4 times higher than in general population, the prevalence of FH in premature CAD is still low (1.8%). To improve the genetic yield, genetic screening may be considered among patients with probable or definite FH according to clinical criteria. The classical cardiovascular risk factors prevalence far exceeds FH prevalence in patients with premature STEMI. LDLc control levels after STEMI were out range, despite intensive hypolipemiant treatment. These findings reinforce the need for more aggressive preventive strategies in the young and for intensive lipid-lowering therapy in secondary prevention.
Project description:We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) in a subject with hypercholesterolaemia from two population-based cohorts in South Korea. A total of 283 subjects with total cholesterol levels of 290 mg/dL (7.5 mmol/L) or higher were selected from the Namwon and Dong-gu Studies. We used next generation sequencing (NGS) to detect mutations in low-density lipoprotein receptors (LDLR), apolipoprotein B (APOB) and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) genes. We have confirmed 17 different mutations of the LDLR, APOB and PCSK9 in 23 subjects (8.1%). Eleven LDLR variants and one APOB variant have been previously reported. One LDLR and two PCSK9 rare variants were identified in the variants database, but not in the FH mutation database. Two novel LDLR variants were found, p.Leu680Val, and p.Thr734Phe. No LDLR, APOB or PCSK9 deletions nor insertions were found. When the subjects were restricted to 110 subjects with a total cholesterol ?310 mg/dL, only 10 variants were found in the 10 subjects (9.1%). These results suggest that given the low prevalence of FH mutations in subjects with high total cholesterol levels, NGS-based testing for a population-based approach to FH detection may not be cost-effective.
Project description:Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a relatively common Mendelian genetic disorder, is associated with a dramatically increased lifetime risk of premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease due to elevated plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. The diagnosis of FH is based on clinical presentation or genetic testing. Early identification of patients with FH is of great public health importance because preventive strategies can lower the absolute lifetime cardiovascular risk and screening can detect affected relatives. However, low awareness, detection, and control of FH pose hurdles in the prevention of FH-related cardiovascular events. Of the estimated 0.65 million to 1 million patients with FH in the United States, less than 10% carry a diagnosis of FH. Based on registry data, a substantial proportion of patients with FH are receiving no or inadequate lipid-lowering therapy. Statins remain the mainstay of treatment for patients with FH. Lipoprotein apheresis and newly approved lipid-lowering drugs are valuable adjuncts to statin therapy, particularly when the LDL-C-lowering response is suboptimal. Monoclonal antibodies targeting proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 provide an additional approximately 60% lowering of LDL-C levels and are approved for use in patients with FH. For homozygous FH, 2 new drugs that work independent of the LDL receptor pathway are available: an apolipoprotein B antisense oligonucleotide (mipomersen) and a microsomal triglyceride transfer protein inhibitor (lomitapide). This review attempts to critically examine the available data to provide a summary of the current evidence for managing patients with FH, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance.
Project description:Subjects with increased cholesterol absorption might benefit more from statin therapy combined with a cholesterol absorption inhibitor. We assessed whether baseline cholesterol absorption markers were associated with response to ezetimibe/simvastatin therapy, in terms of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering and cholesterol absorption inhibition, in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). In a posthoc analysis of the two-year ENHANCE trial, we assessed baseline cholesterol-adjusted campesterol (campesterol/TC) and sitosterol/TC ratios in 591 FH patients. Associations with LDL-C changes and changes in cholesterol absorption markers were evaluated by multiple regression analysis. No association was observed between baseline markers of cholesterol absorption and the extent of LDL-C response to ezetimibe/simvastatin therapy (beta = 0.020, P = 0.587 for campesterol/TC and beta<0.001, P = 0.992 for sitosterol/TC). Ezetimibe/simvastatin treatment reduced campesterol levels by 68% and sitosterol levels by 62%; reductions were most pronounced in subjects with the highest cholesterol absorption markers at baseline, the so-called high absorbers (P < 0.001). Baseline cholesterol absorption status does not determine LDL-C lowering response to ezetimibe/simvastatin therapy in FH, despite more pronounced cholesterol absorption inhibition in high absorbers. Hence, these data do not support the use of baseline absorption markers as a tool to determine optimal cholesterol lowering strategy in FH patients. However, due to the exploratory nature of any posthoc analysis, these results warrant further prospective evaluation in different populations.
Project description:Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is one of the commonest monogenic disorders, predominantly inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. When untreated, it results in early coronary heart disease. The vast majority of FH remains undiagnosed in Latvia. The identification and early treatment of affected individuals remain a challenge worldwide. Most cases of FH are caused by mutations in one of four genes, APOB, LDLR, PCSK9, or LDLRAP1. The spectrum of disease-causing variants is very diverse and the variation detection panels usually used in its diagnosis cover only a minority of the disease-causing gene variants. However, DNA-based tests may provide an FH diagnosis for FH patients with no physical symptoms and with no known family history of the disease. Here, we evaluate the use of targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) to identify cases of FH in a cohort of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and individuals with abnormal low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels.We used targeted amplification of the coding regions of LDLR, APOB, PCSK9, and LDLRAP1, followed by NGS, in 42 CAD patients (LDL-C, 4.1-7.2 mmol/L) and 50 individuals from a population-based cohort (LDL-C, 5.1-9.7 mmol/L).In total, 22 synonymous and 31 nonsynonymous variants, eight variants in close proximity (10 bp) to intron-exon boundaries, and 50 other variants were found. We identified four pathogenic mutations (p.(Arg3527Gln) in APOB, and p.(Gly20Arg), p.(Arg350*), and c.1706-10G > A in LDLR) in seven patients (7.6 %). Three possible pathogenic variants were also found in four patients.NGS-based methods can be used to detect FH in high-risk individuals when they do not meet the defined clinical criteria.
Project description:Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant condition with a population prevalence of one in 300-500 (heterozygous) that is characterized by high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, tendon xanthomata, and premature atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (CHD). FH is caused mainly by mutations in the LDLR gene. However, mutations in other genes including APOB and PCSK9, can give rise to a similar phenotype. Homozygous FH with an estimated prevalence of one in a million is associated with severe hypercholesterolemia with accelerated atherosclerotic CHD in childhood and without treatment, death usually occurs before the age of 30 years. Current approaches for the treatment of homozygous FH include statin-based lipid-lowering therapies and LDL apheresis. Mipomersen is a second-generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) targeted to human apolipoprotein B (apoB)-100. This review provides an overview of the pathophysiology and current treatment options for familial hypercholesterolemia and describes novel therapeutic strategies focusing on mipomersen, an antisense apoB synthesis inhibitor. Mipomersen is distributed mainly to the liver where it silences apoB mRNA, thereby reducing hepatic apoB-100 and giving rise to reductions in plasma total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and apoB concentrations in a dose-and time-dependent manner. Mipomersen has been shown to decrease apoB, LDL-cholesterol and lipoprotein(a) in patients with heterozygous and homozygous FH on maximally tolerated lipid-lowering therapy. The short-term efficacy and safety of mipomersen has been established, however, injection site reactions are common and concern exists regarding the long-term potential for hepatic steatosis with this ASO. In summary, mipomersen given alone or in combination with standard lipid-lowering medications shows promise as an adjunct therapy in patients with homozygous or refractory heterozygous FH at high risk of atherosclerotic CHD, who are not at target or are intolerant of statins.
Project description:Hypercholesterolaemia is considered an important cause of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In a previous investigation, we demonstrated that cultured hepatoma cells treated with hypercholesterolaemic sera compared with cells treated with normocholesterolaemic sera show overexpression of mRNAs related to mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A synthase (HMGCS2). In the present work, using an NMR metabolomic analysis, we demonstrate that the hypercholesterolaemic blood sera previously used to treat cultured hepatoma cells are characterized by a metabolomic profile that is significantly different from the normocholesterolaemic sera. Acetate, acetone, 2-hydroxybutyrate, cysteine, valine, and glutamine are the metabolites distinguishing the two groups. Abnormalities in the concentrations of these metabolites reflect alterations in energy-related pathways, such as pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis, pyruvate, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, the citrate cycle, and ketone bodies. Regarding ketone bodies, the pathway is regulated by HMGCS2; therefore, serum samples previously found to be able to increase HMGCS2 mRNA levels in cultured cells also contain higher amounts of the metabolites of its encoded enzyme protein product.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>Treatment with selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. We assessed the effect of tamoxifen, raloxifene and toremifene and their combinations with lovastatin on LDL receptor activity in lymphocytes from normolipidaemic and familial hypercholesterolaemic (FH) subjects, and human HepG2 hepatocytes and MOLT-4 lymphoblasts.<h4>Experimental approach</h4>Lymphocytes were isolated from peripheral blood, treated with different compounds, and 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3,3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI)-labelled LDL uptake was analysed by flow cytometry.<h4>Key results</h4>Tamoxifen, toremifene and raloxifene, in this order, stimulated DiI-LDL uptake by lymphocytes by inhibiting LDL-derived cholesterol trafficking and subsequent down-regulation of LDL receptor expression. Differently to what occurred in HepG2 and MOLT-4 cells, only tamoxifen consistently displayed a potentiating effect with lovastatin in primary lymphocytes. The SERM-mediated increase in LDL receptor activity was not altered by the anti-oestrogen ICI 182,780 nor was it reproduced by 17?-oestradiol. However, the tamoxifen-active metabolite endoxifen was equally effective as tamoxifen. The SERMs produced similar effects on LDL receptor activity in heterozygous FH lymphocytes as in normal lymphocytes, although none of them had a potentiating effect with lovastatin in heterozygous FH lymphocytes. The SERMs had no effect in homozygous FH lymphocytes.<h4>Conclusions and implications</h4>Clinically used SERMs up-regulate LDL receptors in primary human lymphocytes. There is a mild enhancement between SERMs and lovastatin of lymphocyte LDLR activity, the potentiation being greater in HepG2 and MOLT-4 cells. The effect of SERMs is independent of oestrogen receptors but is preserved in the tamoxifen-active metabolite endoxifen. This mechanism may contribute to the cholesterol-lowering action of SERMs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The risk of premature cardiovascular disease in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) can be profoundly reduced by cholesterol-lowering therapy, and current guidelines for FH advocate ambitious low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goals. In the present study, we determined whether these goals are reflected in current clinical practice once FH has been diagnosed.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>In 2008, we sent questionnaires to all subjects (aged 18-65 years) who were molecularly diagnosed with FH in the year 2006 through the screening program in The Netherlands. Of these 1062 subjects, 781 completed the questionnaire (46% males; mean age: 42+/-12 years; mean LDL-C at molecular diagnosis (baseline): 4.1+/-1.3 mmol/L). The number of persons that used cholesterol-lowering therapy increased from 397 (51%) at baseline to 636 (81%) after diagnosis. Mean treated LDL-C levels decreased significantly to 3.2+/-1.1 mmol/L two years after diagnosis. Only 22% achieved the LDL-C target level of < or = 2.5 mmol/L.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The proportion of patients using cholesterol-lowering medication was significantly increased after FH diagnosis through genetic cascade screening. The attained LDL-C levels were lower than those reported in previous surveys on medication use in FH, which could reflect the effect of more stringent lipid target levels. However, only a minority of the medication users reached the LDL-C target.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited disorder characterized by elevated plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) associated with premature cardiovascular disease.<h4>Methods</h4>Using the data from the START (STable Coronary Artery Diseases RegisTry) study, a nationwide, prospective survey on patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD), we described prevalence and lipid lowering strategies commonly employed in these patients. The study population was divided into "definite/probable FH," defined as a Dutch Lipid Clinic Network (DLCN) score ?6, "possible FH" with DLCN 3-5, and "unlikely FH" in presence of a DLCN <3.<h4>Results</h4>Among the 4030 patients with the DLCN score available, 132 (3.3%) were classified as FH (2.3% with definite/probable and 1.0% with possible FH) and 3898 (96.7%) had unlikely FH. Patients with both definite/probable and possible FH were younger compared to patients not presenting FH. Mean on-treatment LDL-C levels were 107.8 ± 41.5, 84.4 ± 40.9, and 85.8 ± 32.3 (P < 0.0001) and a target of ?70 mg/dL was reached in 10.9%, 30.0%, and 22.0% (P < 0.0001) of patents with definite/probable, possible FH, and unlikely FH, respectively. Statin therapy was prescribed in 85 (92.4%) patients with definite/probable FH, in 38 (95.0%) with possible FH, and in 3621 (92.9%) with unlikely FH (P = 0.86). The association of statin and ezetimibe, in absence of other lipid-lowering therapy, was more frequently used in patients with definite/probable FH compared to patients without FH (31.5% vs 17.5% vs 9.5%; P < 0.0001).<h4>Conclusions</h4>In this large cohort of consecutive patients with stable CAD, FH was highly prevalent and generally undertreated with lipid lowering therapies.