Physiol. Res. 53: 395-401, 2004

Polymorphisms in ABCG5 and ABCG8 Transporters and
Plasma Cholesterol Levels


1Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Laboratory for Atherosclerosis Research, Prague, Czech Republic, 2Department of Molecular Genetics and McDermott Centre for Human Growth and Development, University of Texas, Dallas, USA, 3Center for Experimental Cardiovascular Research, Prague, Czech Republic and 4Department of Medical Genetics, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Received May 7, 2003
Accepted September 14, 2003

ABCG5 and ABCG8 transporters play an important role in the absorption and excretion of sterols. Missence polymorphisms (Gln604Glu in the ABCG5 and Asp19His, Tyr54Cys, Thr400Lys, and Ala632Val in the ABCG8) in these genes have been described. In 131 males and 154 females whose dietary composition markedly changed and lipid parameters decreased over an 8-year follow-up study (total cholesterol decreased from 6.21±1.31 mmol/l in 1988 to 5.43±1.06 mmol/l in 1996), these polymorphisms were investigated using PCR. Plasma lipid levels and changes in plasma lipid levels were independent of the Gln604Glu polymorphism in ABCG5 and Asp19His and the Ala632Val polymorphisms in ABCG8. The Tyr54Cys polymorphism influenced the degree of reduction in total plasma cholesterol (D –0.49 mmol/l in Tyr54 homozygotes vs. D +0.12 mmol/l in Cys54 homozygotes, p<0.04) and LDL-cholesterol (D –0.57 mmol/l in Tyr54 homozygotes vs. D +0.04 mmol/l in Cys54 homozygotes, p<0.03) levels between 1988 and 1996 in females, but not in males. Male Thr400 homozygotes exhibited a greater decrease in total cholesterol (D –0.90 mmol/l vs. D –0.30 mmol/l, p<0.02) and LDL-cholesterol (D –0.62 mmol/l vs. D –0.19 mmol/l, p<0.04) than Lys400 carriers. No such association was observed in females. We conclude that Tyr54Cys and Thr400Lys variations in the ABCG8 gene may play a role in the genetic determination of plasma cholesterol levels and could possibly influence the gender-specific response of plasma cholesterol levels after dietary changes. These polymorphisms are of potential interest as genetic variants that may influence the lipid profile.

Key words
Lipids • Polymorphism • Cholesterol • Diet • ABCG5 • ABCG8

© 2004 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences