Advantages and Versatility of Fluorescence-Based Methodology to Characterize the Functionality of LDLR and Class Mutation Assignment
Echevarria Gallego, Aitor
Benito Vicente, Asier
Ostolaza Echabe, Elena Amaya
Martín Plágaro, César Augusto
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PLOS ONE 9 (11) : (2014) // Article ID e112677
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a common autosomal codominant disease with a frequency of 1:500 individuals in its heterozygous form. The genetic basis of FH is most commonly mutations within the LDLR gene. Assessing the pathogenicity of LDLR variants is particularly important to give a patient a definitive diagnosis of FH. Current studies of LDLR activity ex vivo are based on the analysis of I-125-labeled lipoproteins (reference method) or fluorescent-labelled LDL. The main purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of these two methods to assess LDLR functionality in order to validate a functional assay to analyse LDLR mutations. LDLR activity of different variants has been studied by flow cytometry using FITC-labelled LDL and compared with studies performed previously with I-125-labeled lipoproteins. Flow cytometry results are in full agreement with the data obtained by the I-125 methodology. Additionally confocal microscopy allowed the assignment of different class mutation to the variants assayed. Use of fluorescence yielded similar results than I-125-labeled lipoproteins concerning LDLR activity determination, and also allows class mutation classification. The use of FITC-labelled LDL is easier in handling and disposal, cheaper than radioactivity and can be routinely performed by any group doing LDLR functional validations.