APO E gene and gene-environment effects on plasma lipoprotein-lipid levels

James M. Hagberg, Kenneth R. Wilund, Robert E. Ferrell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Apolipoprotein E (apo E) is important in plasma lipid metabolism and is a component of several plasma lipoprotein-lipid particles. Three major apo E isoforms are encoded by three common alleles at the APO E locus. The E2 allele is associated with lower and the E4 allele with higher total plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels compared with the E3 allele. Available data generally indicate that APO E2, and possibly E3, genotype individuals reduce plasma total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels more than APO E4 individuals with statin therapy. Some evidence also indicates that APO E2 individuals are more likely to respond favorably to gemfibrozil and cholestyramine. On the other hand, it appears that with probucol, APO E4 genotype individuals may improve plasma lipoprotein-lipid profiles more than APO E3 individuals. APO E2 and E3 genotype perimenopausal women appear to improve plasma lipoprotein-lipid profiles more with hormone replacement therapy than APO E4 women. On the other hand, low-fat diet interventions tend to reduce plasma LDL cholesterol and, perhaps, plasma total cholesterol levels more in APO E4 than in APO E2 or E3 individuals. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies generally indicate that APO E2 and E3 individuals improve plasma lipoprotein-lipid profiles more with exercise training than APO E4 individuals. Although these data are hardly definitive, they lend strong support for the possibility that in the near future individuals will be directed to what might be their optimal therapy for improving plasma lipoprotein-lipid profiles and cardiovascular disease risk based partially on APO E genotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiological genomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Diet
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Exercise training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'APO E gene and gene-environment effects on plasma lipoprotein-lipid levels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this