Angeliki Chroni* and Dimitris Kardassis* Pages 1544 - 1575 ( 32 )
The “HDL hypothesis” which suggested that an elevation in HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels by drugs or by life style changes should be paralleled by a decrease in the risk for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) has been challenged by recent epidemiological and clinical studies using HDL-raising drugs. HDL components such as proteins, lipids or small RNA molecules, but not cholesterol itself, possess various atheroprotective functions in different cell types and accumulating evidence supports the new hypothesis that HDL functionality is more important than HDL-C levels for CVD risk prediction. Thus, the detailed characterization of changes in HDL composition and functions in various pathogenic conditions is critically important in order to identify new biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and therapy monitoring of CVD. Here we provide an overview of how HDL composition, size and functionality are affected in patients with monogenic disorders of HDL metabolism due to mutations in genes that participate in the biogenesis and the remodeling of HDL. We also review the findings from various mouse models with genetic disturbances in the HDL biogenesis pathway that have been generated for the validation of the data obtained in human patients and how these models could be utilized for the evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies such as the use of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer technology that aim to correct HDL abnormalities.
apoA-I, ABCA1, LCAT, HDL, atherosclerosis, mutations, HDL-based therapies.
Institute of Biosciences and Applications, National Center for Scientific Research , Department of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Crete Medical School and Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology of Hellas, Heraklion 71003