The genetic basis of lipoprotein(a) variation in the Māori and Pacific populations

Maori people Gout Pacific people Pacific Area

Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a plasma lipoprotein, characterised by an apo(a) molecule bound via a disulphide bond to apoB of a low density lipoprotein- (LDL-) like particle. Elevated Lp(a) levels are a well established risk factor for development of atherosclerosis. Intriguingly, there is enormous inter-individual variation in plasma Lp(a) concentration, with up to 69% of this variation due to different sized isoforms. Lp(a) size is determined by the number of kringle four type 2 (KIV2) repeats within the LPA gene encoding the apo(a) moiety of Lp(a); and is inversely correlated with Lp(a) levels. Furthermore, other genetic variants play a smaller role in influencing levels.Despite genetic variation being well characterised in most populations, very little has been done in Māori and Pacific populations. Contradictory to the higher rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in these two ethnicities, their median Lp(a) levels (12.5 & 12.1 nmol/L, respectively) were significantly lower than in Caucasians (18.9 nmol/L; p

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