Novel APOB missense variants, A224T and V925L, in a black South African woman with marked hypocholesterolemia

Sharon A. Miller, Amanda J. Hooper, George A. Mantiri, David Marais, Donald M. Tanyanyiwa, James McKnight, John R. Burnett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background One genetic cause of markedly low plasma concentrations of apolipoprotein (apo) B and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol is familial hypobetalipoproteinemia. Objective We aimed to determine the molecular basis for the marked hypocholesterolemia consistent with heterozygous familial hypobetalipoproteinemia in a black female subject of Xhosa lineage. Methods Coding regions of APOB, MTTP, PCSK9, ANGPTL3, SAR1B and APOC3 were sequenced, and APOE was genotyped. COS-7 cells were transfected with plasmids containing apoB variants. Western blotting was used to detect cellular and secreted apoB, and co-immunoprecipitation performed to assess binding with the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP). Results Sequence analysis of the APOB gene revealed her to be heterozygous for two novel variants, c.751G>A (A224T) and c.2854G>C (V925L). She was also homozygous for the APOE ϵ2 allele, and did not carry a PCSK9 loss-of-function mutation. Although Ala224 is within the postulated MTP binding region in apoB, it is not conserved among mammalian species. Subsequent genotyping showed that Ala224Thr is found in a southern African population (n=654) with an allele frequency of 1.15% and is not associated with plasma lipid levels. Val925, like Ala224, is within the N-terminal 1000 amino acids required for lipoprotein assembly, but was not found in the population screen. However, in vitro studies showed that apoB V925L did not affect apoB48 production or secretion nor have a deleterious effect on MTP interaction with apoB. Conclusion Taken together, this suggests that the hypocholesterolemia in our case may be a result of being homozygous for APOE ϵ2 with a low baseline cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-609
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • ApoB
  • ApoE Cell studies
  • Hypobetalipoproteinemia
  • Low density lipoprotein
  • Missense mutations


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