Blood lipid-related low-frequency variants in LDLR and PCSK9 are associated with onset age and risk of myocardial infarction in Japanese.
ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed the importance of rare variants in myocardial infarction (MI) susceptibility in European populations. Because genetic architectures vary in different populations, we investigated how they contribute to MI susceptibility in Japanese subjects. We performed targeted sequencing of 36 coronary artery disease risk genes, identified by genome-wide association studies, in 9,956 cases and 8,373 controls. Gene-based association tests identified significant enrichment of rare variants in LDLR and PCSK9 in MI cases. We identified 52 (novel 22) LDLR variants predicted to be damaging. Carriers of these variants showed a higher risk of MI (carriers/non-carriers 89/9867 in cases, 17/8356 controls, OR?=?4.4, P?=?7.2?×?10-10), higher LDL-cholesterol levels and younger age of onset for MI. With respect to PCSK9, E32K carriers showed higher LDL-cholesterol levels and younger age of onset for MI, whereas R93C carriers had lower LDL-cholesterol levels. A significant correlation between LDL-cholesterol levels and onset age of MI was observed in these variant carriers. In good agreement with previous studies in patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia, our study in the Japanese general population showed that rare variants in LDLR and PCSK9 were associated with the onset age of MI by altering LDL-cholesterol levels.
Project description:Myocardial infarction (MI), a leading cause of death around the world, displays a complex pattern of inheritance. When MI occurs early in life, genetic inheritance is a major component to risk. Previously, rare mutations in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) genes have been shown to contribute to MI risk in individual families, whereas common variants at more than 45 loci have been associated with MI risk in the population. Here we evaluate how rare mutations contribute to early-onset MI risk in the population. We sequenced the protein-coding regions of 9,793 genomes from patients with MI at an early age (?50 years in males and ?60 years in females) along with MI-free controls. We identified two genes in which rare coding-sequence mutations were more frequent in MI cases versus controls at exome-wide significance. At low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), carriers of rare non-synonymous mutations were at 4.2-fold increased risk for MI; carriers of null alleles at LDLR were at even higher risk (13-fold difference). Approximately 2% of early MI cases harbour a rare, damaging mutation in LDLR; this estimate is similar to one made more than 40 years ago using an analysis of total cholesterol. Among controls, about 1 in 217 carried an LDLR coding-sequence mutation and had plasma LDL cholesterol > 190 mg dl(-1). At apolipoprotein A-V (APOA5), carriers of rare non-synonymous mutations were at 2.2-fold increased risk for MI. When compared with non-carriers, LDLR mutation carriers had higher plasma LDL cholesterol, whereas APOA5 mutation carriers had higher plasma triglycerides. Recent evidence has connected MI risk with coding-sequence mutations at two genes functionally related to APOA5, namely lipoprotein lipase and apolipoprotein C-III (refs 18, 19). Combined, these observations suggest that, as well as LDL cholesterol, disordered metabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins contributes to MI risk.
Project description:Patients with PCSK9 gene gain of function (GOF) mutations have a rare form of autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia. However, data examining their clinical characteristics and geographic distribution are lacking. Furthermore, no randomized treatment study in this population has been reported.We compiled clinical characteristics of PCSK9 GOF mutation carriers in a multinational retrospective, cross-sectional, observational study. We then performed a randomized placebo-phase, double-blind study of alirocumab 150 mg administered subcutaneously every 2 weeks to 13 patients representing 4 different PCSK9 GOF mutations with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) ?70 mg/dL on their current lipid-lowering therapies at baseline. Observational study: among 164 patients, 16 different PCSK9 GOF mutations distributed throughout the gene were associated with varying severity of untreated LDL-C levels. Coronary artery disease was common (33%; average age of onset, 49.4 years), and untreated LDL-C concentrations were higher compared with matched carriers of mutations in the LDLR (n=2126) or apolipoprotein B (n=470) genes. Intervention study: in PCSK9 GOF mutation patients randomly assigned to receive alirocumab, mean percent reduction in LDL-C at 2 weeks was 62.5% (P<0.0001) from baseline, 53.7% compared with placebo-treated PCSK9 GOF mutation patients (P=0.0009; primary end point). After all subjects received 8 weeks of alirocumab treatment, LDL-C was reduced by 73% from baseline (P<0.0001).PCSK9 GOF mutation carriers have elevated LDL-C levels and are at high risk of premature cardiovascular disease. Alirocumab, a PCSK9 antibody, markedly lowers LDL-C levels and seems to be well tolerated in these patients.URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique Identifier: NCT01604824.
Project description:LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) contributes to coronary heart disease. Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) increases LDL-C by inhibiting LDL-C clearance. The therapeutic potential for PCSK9 inhibitors is highlighted by the fact that PCSK9 loss-of-function carriers exhibit 15-30% lower circulating LDL-C and a disproportionately lower risk (47-88%) of experiencing a cardiovascular event. Here, we utilized pcsk9(-/-) mice and an anti-PCSK9 antibody to study the role of the LDL receptor (LDLR) and ApoE in PCSK9-mediated regulation of plasma cholesterol and atherosclerotic lesion development. We found that circulating cholesterol and atherosclerotic lesions were minimally modified in pcsk9(-/-) mice on either an LDLR- or ApoE-deficient background. Acute administration of an anti-PCSK9 antibody did not reduce circulating cholesterol in an ApoE-deficient background, but did reduce circulating cholesterol (-45%) and TGs (-36%) in APOE*3Leiden.cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) mice, which contain mouse ApoE, human mutant APOE3*Leiden, and a functional LDLR. Chronic anti-PCSK9 antibody treatment in APOE*3Leiden.CETP mice resulted in a significant reduction in atherosclerotic lesion area (-91%) and reduced lesion complexity. Taken together, these results indicate that both LDLR and ApoE are required for PCSK9 inhibitor-mediated reductions in atherosclerosis, as both are needed to increase hepatic LDLR expression.
Project description:Statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and prevent cardiovascular disease. However, there is wide individual variation in LDL-C response. Drugs targeting proprotein convertase subtilin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) lower LDL-C and will be used with statins. PCSK9 mediates the degradation of LDL receptors (LDLRs). Therefore, a greater LDL-C response to statins would be expected in individuals with PCSK9 loss-of-function (LOF) variants because LDLR degradation is reduced. To examine this hypothesis, the effect of 11 PCSK9 functional variants on statin response was determined in 669 African Americans. One LOF variant, rs11591147 (p.R46L) was significantly associated with LDL-C response to statin (P=0.002). In the three carriers, there was a 55.6% greater LDL-C reduction compared with non-carriers. Another functional variant, rs28362261 (p.N425S), was marginally associated with statin response (P=0.0064).The effect of rs11591147 was present in individuals of European ancestry (N=2388, P=0.054). The therapeutic effect of statins may be modified by genetic variation in PCSK9.
Project description:Proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (Pcsk9) is a subtilisin serine protease with a putative role in cholesterol metabolism. Pcsk9 expression is down-regulated by dietary cholesterol, and mutations in Pcsk9 have been associated with a form of autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia. To study the function of Pcsk9 in mice, an adenovirus constitutively expressing murine Pcsk9 (Pcsk9-Ad) was used. Pcsk9 overexpression in wild-type mice caused a 2-fold increase in plasma total cholesterol and a 5-fold increase in non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, with no increase in HDL cholesterol, as compared with mice infected with a control adenovirus. Fast protein liquid chromatography analysis showed that the increase in non-HDL cholesterol was due to an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This effect appeared to depend on the LDL receptor (LDLR) because LDLR knockout mice infected with Pcsk9-Ad had no change in plasma cholesterol levels as compared with knockout mice infected with a control adenovirus. Furthermore, whereas overexpression of Pcsk9 had no effect on LDLR mRNA levels, there was a near absence of LDLR protein in animals overexpressing Pcsk9. These results were confirmed in vitro by the demonstration that transfection of Pcsk9 in McA-RH7777 cells caused a reduction in LDLR protein and LDL binding. In summary, these results indicate that overexpression of Pcsk9 interferes with LDLR-mediated LDL cholesterol uptake. Because Pcsk9 and LDLR are coordinately regulated by cholesterol, Pcsk9 may be involved in a novel mechanism to modulate LDLR function by an alternative pathway than classic cholesterol inhibition of sterol regulatory element binding protein-mediated transcription.
Project description:Proprotein convertase subtilisin-like/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) regulates LDL cholesterol levels by inhibiting LDL receptor (LDLr)-mediated cellular LDL uptake. We have identified a fragment antigen-binding (Fab) 1D05 which binds PCSK9 with nanomolar affinity. The fully human antibody 1D05-IgG2 completely blocks the inhibitory effects of wild-type PCSK9 and two gain-of-function human PCSK9 mutants, S127R and D374Y. The crystal structure of 1D05-Fab bound to PCSK9 reveals that 1D05-Fab binds to an epitope on the PCSK9 catalytic domain which includes the entire LDLr EGF(A) binding site. Notably, the 1D05-Fab CDR-H3 and CDR-H2 loops structurally mimic the EGF(A) domain of LDLr. In a transgenic mouse model (CETP/LDLr-hemi), in which plasma lipid and PCSK9 profiles are comparable to those of humans, 1D05-IgG2 reduces plasma LDL cholesterol to 40% and raises hepatic LDLr protein levels approximately fivefold. Similarly, in healthy rhesus monkeys, 1D05-IgG2 effectively reduced LDL cholesterol 20%-50% for over 2 weeks, despite its relatively short terminal half-life (t(1/2) = 3.2 days). Importantly, the decrease in circulating LDL cholesterol corresponds closely to the reduction in free PCSK9 levels. Together these results clearly demonstrate that the LDL-lowering effect of the neutralizing anti-PCSK9 1D05-IgG2 antibody is mediated by reducing the amount of PCSK9 that can bind to the LDLr.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Evolocumab, a PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9)-neutralizing antibody, lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in homozygous familial hypercholesterolemic (HoFH) patients with reduced LDLR (low-density lipoprotein receptor) function. However, their individual responses are highly variable, even among carriers of identical LDLR genetic defects. We aimed to elucidate why HoFH patients variably respond to PCSK9 inhibition. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Lymphocytes were isolated from 22 HoFH patients enrolled in the TAUSSIG trial (Trial Assessing Long Term Use of PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects With Genetic LDL Disorders). Ten patients were true homozygotes (FH1/FH1) and 5 identical compound heterozygotes (FH1/FH2). Lymphocytes were plated with or without mevastatin, recombinant PCSK9 (rPCSK9), or a PCSK9-neutralizing antibody. Cell surface LDLR expression was analyzed by flow cytometry. All HoFH lymphocytes had reduced cell surface LDLR expression compared with non-FH lymphocytes, for each treatment modality. Lymphocytes from FH1/FH2 patients (LDLR defective/negative) displayed the lowest LDLR expression levels followed by lymphocytes from FH1/FH1 patients (defective/defective). Mevastatin increased, whereas rPCSK9 reduced LDLR expression. The PCSK9-neutralizing antibody restored LDLR expression. Lymphocytes displaying higher LDLR expression levels were those isolated from patients presenting with lowest levels of LDL-C and apolipoprotein B, before and after 24 weeks of evolocumab treatment. These negative correlations remained significant in FH1/FH1 patients and appeared more pronounced when patients with apolipoprotein E3/E3 genotypes were analyzed separately. Significant positive correlations were found between the levels of LDLR expression and the percentage reduction in LDL-C on evolocumab treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Residual LDLR expression in HoFH is a major determinant of LDL-C levels and seems to drive their individual response to evolocumab.
Project description:Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) regulates serum LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) by interacting with the LDL receptor (LDLR) and is an attractive therapeutic target for LDL-C lowering. We have generated a neutralizing anti-PCSK9 antibody, mAb1, that binds to an epitope on PCSK9 adjacent to the region required for LDLR interaction. In vitro, mAb1 inhibits PCSK9 binding to the LDLR and attenuates PCSK9-mediated reduction in LDLR protein levels, thereby increasing LDL uptake. A combination of mAb1 with a statin increases LDLR levels in HepG2 cells more than either treatment alone. In wild-type mice, mAb1 increases hepatic LDLR protein levels approximately 2-fold and lowers total serum cholesterol by up to 36%: this effect is not observed in LDLR(-/-) mice. In cynomolgus monkeys, a single injection of mAb1 reduces serum LDL-C by 80%, and a significant decrease is maintained for 10 days. We conclude that anti-PCSK9 antibodies may be effective therapeutics for treating hypercholesterolemia.
Project description:Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) modulates low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor (LDLR) degradation, thus influencing serum cholesterol levels. However, dysfunctional LDLR causes hypercholesterolemia without affecting PCSK9 clearance from the circulation.To study the reciprocal effects of PCSK9 and LDLR and the resultant effects on serum cholesterol, we produced transgenic mice expressing human (h) PCSK9. Although hPCSK9 was expressed mainly in the kidney, LDLR degradation was more evident in the liver. Adrenal LDLR levels were not affected, likely because of the impaired PCSK9 retention in this tissue. In addition, hPCSK9 expression increased hepatic secretion of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins in an LDLR-independent fashion. Expression of hPCSK9 raised serum murine PCSK9 levels by 4.3-fold in wild-type mice and not at all in LDLR(-/-) mice, in which murine PCSK9 levels were already 10-fold higher than in wild-type mice. In addition, LDLR(+/-) mice had a 2.7-fold elevation in murine PCSK9 levels and no elevation in cholesterol levels. Conversely, acute expression of human LDLR in transgenic mice caused a 70% decrease in serum murine PCSK9 levels. Turnover studies using physiological levels of hPCSK9 showed rapid clearance in wild-type mice (half-life, 5.2 minutes), faster clearance in human LDLR transgenics (2.9 minutes), and much slower clearance in LDLR(-/-) recipients (50.5 minutes). Supportive results were obtained with an in vitro system. Finally, up to 30% of serum hPCSK9 was associated with LDL regardless of LDLR expression.Our results support a scenario in which LDLR represents the main route of elimination of PCSK9 and a reciprocal regulation between these 2 proteins controls serum PCSK9 levels, hepatic LDLR expression, and serum LDL levels.
Project description:RATIONALE:Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 or PCSK9 is a protein whose main function is to regulate the number of low-density lipoprotein receptors (LDLR) present on the cell surface. Loss-of-function mutations in PCSK9 have been related to low LDL-cholesterol levels and a decrease in the risk of cardiovascular events. PATIENT CONCERNS:We present the case of a 27-year-old woman, offspring of a patient with familial homozygous hypercholesterolemia, who presented with mild-moderate hypercholesterolemia. DIAGNOSIS:Genetic analysis was performed by next generation sequencing using a customized panel of 198 genes. Sanger sequencing was used to confirm the presence of the variants of interest. The genetic analysis showed a pathogenic heterozygous mutation in LDLR [exon 6:c.902A>G:p(Asp301Gly)], as well as a loss-of-function heterozygous variant in PCSK9 [exon1:c.137 G>T:p.(Arg46Leu)]. The genetic analysis of the index case's mother revealed compound heterozygosity for 2 different mutations in LDLR [c.902A>G:p.(Asp301Gly); c.1646G>T:p.(Gly549Val)] in exon 6 and in exon 11, respectively, and the same loss-of-function variant in PCSK9 that had been found in her daughter [(PCSK9:exon1:c.137G>T:p.(Arg46Leu)]. The maternal grandfather of the index case presented the same genetic variants as his granddaughter. INTERVENTIONS:The index case did not receive any specific treatment for hypercholesterolemia. The loss-of-function variant in PCSK9 protected her from higher LDL-cholesterol levels, provided she kept partial activity of the LDLR. In her mother, instead, a PCSK9 inhibitor was tried but failed to achieve lipid control. The reason for this may be the complete absence in LDL receptor activity. LDL apheresis was started afterwards, resulting in adequate lipid level control. OUTCOMES:To the date, the index case has achieved to maintain adequate total and LDL-cholesterol levels without any other intervention. She has had no known cardiovascular complication. LESSONS:Loss-of-function mutations in PCSK9 could protect from developing more severe forms of hypercholesterolemia. The finding of these mutations (LDLR-PCSK9) in three consecutive generations could imply an adaptive mechanism against the development of hypercholesterolemia.