Single nucleotide polymorphisms in CEL-HYB1 increase risk for chronic pancreatitis through proteotoxic misfolding

Hum Mutat. 2020 Nov;41(11):1967-1978. doi: 10.1002/humu.24105. Epub 2020 Sep 9.


Genetic variants contribute to the risk of chronic pancreatitis (CP) in adults and children. The risk variant CEL-HYB1, a recombinant hybrid allele of CEL and its neighboring pseudogene (CELP), encodes a pathogenic variant of the pancreatic digestive enzyme carboxyl ester lipase (CEL). We previously identified combinations of two non-synonymous SNPs, c.1463T>C (p. Ile488Thr) and c.1643C>T (p. Thr548Ile), in the break point region of CEL-HYB1. Herein, we tested whether these missense variants alter CP risk and their impact on functional properties of the CEL-HYB1 protein. Examination of CEL-HYB1 haplotypes in European patients and controls revealed that the combinationThr488-Ile548 was present only in cases (p ≤ .001). The lipase activity of purified recombinant CEL-HYB1 variants showed normal or near normal activity. CEL-HYB variants expressed in HEK293T cells all had decreased secretion compared with CEL, formed intracellular protein aggregates, and triggered endoplasmic reticulum stress. Thus, we propose that the presence of missense variants in CEL-HYB increases the pathogenicity of CEL-HYB1 through misfolding and gain-of-function proteotoxicity. Interestingly, Thr488-Ile548 and Thr488-Thr548 were equally pathogenic in the functional assays even though only the Thr488-Ile548 haplotype was significantly enriched in cases. The explanation for the mismatch between genetic and functional data requires further investigation.

Keywords: chronic pancreatitis; genetic variants; lipase; protein misfolding; single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Gain of Function Mutation
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lipase / genetics*
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Protein Folding
  • Pseudogenes*


  • CEL protein, human
  • Lipase