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Journal Article

Significant differentiation in the apolipoprotein(a)/lipoprotein(a) trait between chimpanzees from Western and Central Africa


Fischer,  Anne
Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Noureen, A., Ronke, C., Khalifa, M., Halbwax, M., Fischer, A., Andre, C., et al. (2017). Significant differentiation in the apolipoprotein(a)/lipoprotein(a) trait between chimpanzees from Western and Central Africa. American Journal of Primatology, 79(9): e22683. doi:10.1002/ajp.22683.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-F0E9-6
Elevated Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) plasma concentrations are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in humans, largely controlled by the LPA gene encoding apolipoprotein(a) (apo(a)). Lp(a) is composed of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and apo(a) and restricted to Catarrhini. A variable number of kringle IV (KIV) domains in LPA lead to a size polymorphism of apo(a) that is inversely correlated with Lp(a) concentrations. Smaller apo(a) isoforms and higher Lp(a) levels in central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes [PTT]) compared to humans from Europe had been reported. We studied apo(a) isoforms and Lp(a) concentrations in 75 western (Pan troglodytes verus [PTV]) and 112 central chimpanzees, and 12 bonobos (Pan paniscus [PPA]), all wild born and living in sanctuaries in Sierra Leone, Republic of the Congo, and DR Congo, respectively, and 116 humans from Gabon. Lp(a) levels were severalfold higher in western than in central chimpanzees (181.0 +/- 6.7 mg/dl vs. 56.5 +/- 4.3 mg/dl), whereas bonobos showed intermediate levels (134.8 +/- 33.4 mg/dl). Apo(a) isoform sizes differed significantly between subspecies (means subspecies. Human Lp(a) concentrations (mean 47.9 +/- 2.8 mg/dl) were similar to those in central chimpanzees despite larger isoforms (mean 27.1 +/- 4.9 KIV). Lp(a) and LDL, apoB-100, and total cholesterol levels only correlated in PTV. This remarkable differentiation between chimpanzees from different African habitats and the trait's similarity in humans and chimpanzees from Central Africa poses the question of a possible impact of an environmental factor that has shaped the genetic architecture of LPA. Overall, studies on the cholesterol-containing particles of Lp(a) and LDL in chimpanzees should consider differentiation between subspecies.