A DNA polymorphism for LCAT is associated with altered LCAT activity and high density lipoprotein size distributions in baboons

David L. Rainwater, John Blangero, James E. Hixson, Shifra Birnbaum, Glen E. Mott, John L. VandeBerg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A polymorphic Pvu II site was mapped to intron 5 of LCAT, the gene encoding baboon lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT). In a study of 83 baboons, heterozygous baboons (Pv1/Pv2) had significantly higher LCAT enzyme activity levels than did baboons homozygous for the more common allele (Pv1/Pv1). LCAT genotype explained 6% of the total variation in LCAT enzyme activity. To test for allelic effects on cholesterol metabolism, we compared serum concentrations of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I). We also compared distributions of cholesterol and apo A-I among three HDL size classes (HDL1, HDL2, and HDL3). All measurements were obtained for each baboon after long-term feeding of a basal diet low in cholesterol and fat and again after 7 weeks on an atherogenic diet. Heterozygous baboons had significantly lower serum levels of total cholesterol than did homozygotes. In addition, we detected significant effects of LCAT genotype on size distributions of HDL cholesterol and apo A-I on both diets but did not detect any genotype-by-diet interaction. Heterozygotes had increased amounts of cholesterol and apo A-I in HDL3 particles and lower amounts of cholesterol and apo A-I in the larger HDL size classes by comparison with homozygotes. Overall, the LCAT polymorphism explained a significant proportion of total variation in cholesterol (4-10%) and apo A-I (13%) distributions on both diets. Thus, the results indicate that the LCAT polymorphism is associated with significant differences in LCAT enzyme activity and with alterations in HDL compositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-690
Number of pages9
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Baboons
  • Cholesterol
  • Gradient gel electrophoresis
  • High density lipoprotein subclasses
  • Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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