Background: Chylomicronemia syndrome can be caused by 2 autosomal recessive disorders - lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency and apolipoprotein C-II (apo C-II) deficiency.
Methods: We described 2 siblings with chylomicronemia syndrome of a consanguineous family. To determine the molecular basis of chylomicronemia syndrome in this family, we performed direct DNA sequencing of the LPL and APOC2 genes of the proband.
Results: A novel homozygous mutation, Leu72Pro, in the APOC2 gene was found in both siblings whereas their parents were carriers. No LPL mutations were detected in the siblings. Apo C-II contains 3 amphipathic alpha helices; the C-terminal alpha helix is composed of residues 64 to 74. Substitution of residue 72 from a helix former leucine to a helix breaker, proline, is predicted to change the secondary structure of the C-terminal helix and subsequently alter the interaction between apo C-II and LPL.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, Leu72Pro is the first missense mutation identified in the C-terminal of apo C-II. The result is consistent with the current biochemical and structural findings that the C-terminal helix of apo C-II is important for activation of LPL.