Purpose of review: Angiopoietin-like protein-3 (ANGPTL3) is emerging as a key player in lipoprotein transport with an expanding role on fatty acid and glucose metabolism. Its deficiency is associated with a favorable metabolic profile. The present review will highlight the recent understanding of metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of ANGPTL3 inactivation by considering both genetic and pharmacological investigations.
Recent findings: Experimental studies have further illustrated the complex interplay between ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4-8 in orchestrating lipid transport in different nutritional status. Individuals with familial combined hypolipidemia due to homozygous loss-of-function mutations in ANGPTL3 gene showed improved metabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins during fasting and postprandial state and increased fatty acid oxidation and insulin sensitivity. Moreover, mendelian randomizations studies demonstrated that partial ANGPTL3 deficiency associates with reduced risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular events and, eventually, diabetes mellitus. Finally, inactivation of ANGPTL3, using either a specific mAb or antisense oligonucleotide, was reported to reduce plasma levels of atherogenic lipoprotein in humans and improve hepatic fat infiltration in animal models.
Summary: Human and animal studies have further dissected the complex role of ANGPTL3 in the regulation of energy substrate metabolism. Moreover, genetic and pharmacological investigations have convincingly indicated that the inactivation of ANGPTL3 may be a very promising strategy to treat atherogenic metabolic disorders.