Association analysis of 33 lipoprotein candidate genes in multi-generational families of African ancestry

J Lipid Res. 2010 Jul;51(7):1823-31. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M003897. Epub 2010 Mar 22.


African ancestry individuals have a more favorable lipoprotein profile than Caucasians, although the mechanisms for these differences remain unclear. We measured fasting serum lipoproteins and genotyped 768 tagging or potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across 33 candidate gene regions in 401 Afro-Caribbeans older than 18 years belonging to 7 multi-generational pedigrees (mean family size 51, range 21-113, 3,426 relative pairs). All lipoproteins were significantly heritable (P<0.05). Gender-specific analysis showed that heritability for triglycerides was much higher (P<0.01) in women than in men (women, 0.62+/-0.18, P<0.01; men, 0.13+/-0.17, P>0.10), but the heritability for LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) was higher (P<0.05) in men than in women (men, 0.79+/-0.21, P<0.01; women, 0.39+/-0.12, P<0.01). The top 14 SNPs that passed the false discovery rate threshold in the families were then tested for replication in an independent population-based sample of 1,750 Afro-Caribbean men aged 40+ years. Our results revealed significant associations for three SNPs in two genes (rs5929 and rs6511720 in LDLR and rs7517090 in PCSK9) and LDL-C in both the family study and in the replication study. Our findings suggest that LDLR and PCSK9 variants may contribute to a variation in LDL-C among African ancestry individuals. Future sequencing and functional studies of these loci may advance our understanding of genetic factors contributing to LDL-C in African ancestry populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Lipoproteins / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipoproteins