Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 191–199

Genetic determinants of plasma triglycerides: Impact of rare and common mutations

  • Philippa J. Talmud

DOI: 10.1007/s11883-001-0061-4

Cite this article as:
Talmud, P.J. Curr Atheroscler Rep (2001) 3: 191. doi:10.1007/s11883-001-0061-4


Raised plasma triglyceride (TG) levels are an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD), and thus understanding the genetic and environmental determinants of TG levels are of major importance. TG metabolism is a process for delivering free fatty acids for energy storage or β-oxidation, and involves a number of different hydrolytic enzymes and apolipoproteins (apo). The genes encoding these proteins are, therefore, candidates for determining plasma TGs. Although rare mutations in lipoprotein lipase (LPL), the major TG-hydrolyzing enzyme, and apo CII (APOC2), its essential activator, result in extremely high plasma TG levels, their low frequency means they have little impact upon TG levels in the general population. Common mutations in LPL, apo CIII (APOC3), and apo E (APOE) have the strongest effect on plasma TG levels at the population level. In addition, environmental factors such as diet, obesity, and smoking interact with genetic determinants of TG to produce a modulating high-risk environment.

Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippa J. Talmud
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular Genetics, Department of Medicine, British Heart Foundation LaboratoriesRoyal Free and University College Medical SchoolLondonUnited Kingdom

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