Paraoxonase and coronary heart disease

Curr Opin Lipidol. 1998 Aug;9(4):319-24. doi: 10.1097/00041433-199808000-00006.


Paraoxonase (PON1) hydrolyses organophosphate insecticides and nerve gases and is responsible for determining the selective toxicity of these compounds in mammals. Human PON1 has two genetic polymorphisms giving rise to amino-acid substitutions at positions 55 and 192. The 192 polymorphism is the major determinant of the PON1 activity polymorphism towards organophosphates. However, the 55 polymorphism also modulates activity. Ex vivo, the PON1 polymorphisms are important in determining the capacity of HDL to protect LDL against oxidative modification in vitro and this may explain the relationship between the PON1 alleles and coronary heart disease in case-control studies. In recent case-control studies serum PON1 concentration and activity were also found to be decreased in coronary heart disease (CHD) independent of the PON1 polymorphism, and in diabetes serum PON1 specific activity decrease is also independent of the PON1 genetic polymorphism. HDL from transgenic mice lacking PON1 fails to protect LDL against oxidative modification. Thus PON1 may be a determinant of resistance to the development of atherosclerosis by protecting lipoproteins against oxidative modification, perhaps by hydrolysing phospholipid and cholesteryl-ester hydroperoxides.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase
  • Coronary Disease / enzymology*
  • Esterases / blood
  • Esterases / genetics
  • Esterases / metabolism*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Risk Factors
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Antioxidants
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Phospholipids
  • Esterases
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase
  • PON1 protein, human