Apolipoprotein E Genotyping

Overview

This test determines an individual’s genetic risk associated with the Apolipoprotein E gene. ApoE is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol and triglycerides, and variants in this gene can have clinically relevant implications for disease risk as well as one’s response to statin therapy, dietary fat, and other risk factors (eg., smoking and alcohol consumption). Approximately 45% of individuals carry one or more of the high risk variants within the ApoE gene. The results of the genotyping of Apolipoprotein E have important implications in the treatment strategies for individual patients in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

What does ApoE do?

  • ApoE plays a role in the transport and metabolism of plasma lipoproteins (which carry cholesterol).
  • The role of ApoE is to bind to cellular receptors and mediate clearance of the lipoproteins and their remnants from the bloodstream.
  • ApoE functions mainly in the liver and brain but is also found in other tissues throughout the body.

What does ApoE Genotype Mean for Cardiovascular Disease Risk?

There are 6 possible ApoE genotypes:

  • e2/e2
  • e3/e3
  • e4/e4
  • e2/e3
  • e3/e4
  • e2/e4



​​​​​​​Clinical Applications

  • ApoE genotyping is best used in conjunction with additional lipid profile monitoring 
  • ApoE genotyping is a useful tool to help determine the best dietary and pharmaceutical approach to maintaining healthy lipid levels
  • Maintaining healthy lipid levels can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes, and other health problems 

 

 

 

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