Objectives. The objective was the identification and functional characterization of mutations in the ABCA1 gene in four patients with severe HDL deficiency. Subjects. Patients were referred to the clinic because of almost complete HDL deficiency. Methods. The ABCA1 gene was sequenced directly. The analysis of the ABCA1 protein, ABCA1 mRNA and ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux was performed in cultured fibroblasts. Intracellular localization of ABCA1 mutants was investigated in transfected HEK293 cells. Results. Two patients were homozygous for mutations in the coding region of the ABCA1 gene, resulting in an amino acid substitution (p.A1046D) and a truncated protein (p.I74YFsX76). The third patient was homozygous for a splice site mutation in intron 35 (c.4773 + 1g>a), resulting in an in-frame deletion of 25 amino acids (del p.D1567_K1591) in ABCA1. These patients had clinical manifestations of accumulation of cholesterol in the reticulo-endothelial system. The fourth patient, with preclinical atherosclerosis, was a compound heterozygote for two missense mutations (p.R587W ⁄ p.W1699C). ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux was abolished in fibroblasts from patients with p.A1046D and del p.D1567_K1591 mutants and in fibroblasts homozygous for p.R587W. A reduced ABCA1 protein content was observed in these cells, suggesting an increased intracellular degradation. The mutant p.W1699C was largely retained in the endoplasmic reticulum, when expressed in HEK293 cells. Conclusions. The homozygotes for mutations which abolish ABCA1 function showed overt signs of involvement of the reticulo-endothelial system. This was not the case in the compound heterozygote for missense mutations, suggesting that this patient retains some residual ABCA1 function that reduces cholesterol accumulation in the reticulo-endothelial system.
Severe HDL deficiency due to novel defects in the ABCA1 transporter / PISCIOTTA L.; BOCCHI L.; CANDINI C.; SALLO R.; ZANOTTI I.; FASANO T.; CHAKRAPANI A.; BATES T.; BONARDI R.; CANTAFORA A.; BALL S.; WATTS G.; BERNINI F.; CALANDRA S.; BERTOLINI S.. - In: JOURNAL OF INTERNAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0954-6820. - 265(2009), pp. 359-372. [10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02019.x]