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Anderson disease (ANDD) or chylomicron retention disease (CMRD) is a rare, hereditary lipid malabsorption syndrome associated with mutations in the SAR1B gene that is characterized by failure to thrive and hypocholesterolemia. Although the SAR1B structure has been resolved and its role in formation of coat protein II (COPII)-coated carriers is well established, little is known about the requirement for SAR1B during embryogenesis. To address this question, we have developed a zebrafish model of Sar1b deficiency based on antisense oligonucleotide knockdown. We show that zebrafish sar1b is highly conserved among vertebrates; broadly expressed during development; and enriched in the digestive tract organs, brain, and craniofacial skeleton. Consistent with ANDD symptoms of chylomicron retention, we found that dietary lipids in Sar1b-deficient embryos accumulate in enterocytes. Transgenic expression analysis revealed that Sar1b is required for growth of exocrine pancreas and liver. Furthermore, we found abnormal differentiation and maturation of craniofacial cartilage associated with defects in procollagen II secretion and absence of select, neuroD-positive neurons of the midbrain and hindbrain. The model presented here will help to systematically dissect developmental roles of Sar1b and to discover molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to organ-specific ANDD pathology. Key messages: Sar1b depletion phenotype in zebrafish resembles Anderson disease deficits. Sar1b deficiency results in multi-organ developmental deficits. Sar1b is required for dietary cholesterol uptake into enterocytes.
Familial hypobetalipoproteinemia can be caused by mutations in the apolipoprotein (apo)B gene that interfere with the translation of a full-length apoB molecule. Frequently, a truncated apoB molecule can be detected in the plasma lipoproteins of affected subjects. In this report, we characterize four different apoB gene mutations causing hypobetalipoproteinemia that are associated with the synthesis of truncated apoB proteins. Two of the mutations are nonsense mutations caused by single nucleotide substitutions; these mutations are associated with the production of apoB-32.5 (1473 amino acids) and apoB-82 (3733 amino acids). The other two mutations are single nucleotide deletions (of apoB cDNA nucleotides 7295 and 7359, respectively). The altered reading frames created by these different frameshift mutations terminated with the same stop codon, and both therefore yielded a truncated protein of identical size: apoB-52.8 (2395 amino acids). The two apoB-52.8 proteins differ, however, in the number of novel carboxyl-terminal amino acids introduced by the frameshift. The buoyant density of lipoproteins containing the truncated apoBs was inversely related to the length of the truncated apoB. ApoB-32.5 was present only in high density lipoproteins (HDL) and the d > 1.21 g/ml fraction, whereas apoB-82 was present almost exclusively in very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). ApoB-52.8 was present primarily in VLDL, intermediate density lipoproteins (IDL), and low density lipoproteins (LDL); trace amounts were observed in the HDL.
In the past 5 years, many different mutations in the apolipoprotein (apo) B gene have been described that affect plasma cholesterol levels. More than 20 different mutations in the apoB gene have been shown to cause familial hypobetalipoproteinaemia, a condition characterized by abnormally low plasma concentrations of apoB and LDL cholesterol. Almost all of the mutations are nonsense or frameshift mutations that interfere with the translation of a full-length apoB100 molecule. Many, but not all, of these apoB gene mutations result in the synthesis of a truncated species of apoB that can be detected within the plasma lipoproteins. Familial hypobetalipoproteinaemia heterozygotes are almost always asymptomatic and have LDL cholesterol levels about one-quarter to one-third of those of unaffected family members. Several homozygotes and compound heterozygotes for familial hypobetalipoproteinaemia have been described. In these individuals, the LDL cholesterol levels are extremely low, usually less than 5 or 10 mg dl-1, and the clinical phenotype is variable, ranging from completely asymptomatic to severe problems related to intestinal fat malabsorption. One missense mutation in the apoB gene (an Arg----Gln substitution at apoB amino acid 3500) is associated with very poor binding of apoB100 to the cellular LDL receptor. This syndrome has been designated familial defective apolipoprotein B (FDB). The amino-acid substitution at residue 3500 delays the clearance of LDL from the plasma and results in hypercholesterolaemia. In some Western populations, the frequency of FDB heterozygotes appears to be as high as 1 in 500 individuals.
We examined a mutant human apolipoprotein B (apoB) allele that causes hypobetalipoproteinemia and has a single cytosine deletion in exon 26. This frameshift mutation was associated with the synthesis of a truncated apoB protein of the predicted size; however, studies in human subjects and minigene expression studies in cultured cells indicated that the mutant allele also yielded a full-length apoB protein. The 1-base-pair deletion in the mutant apoB allele created a stretch of eight consecutive adenines. To understand the mechanism whereby the mutant apoB allele yielded a full-length apoB protein, the cDNA from cells transfected with the mutant apoB minigene expression vector was examined. Splicing of the mRNA was normal; however, 11% of the cDNA clones had an additional adenine within the stretch of eight adenines, yielding nine consecutive adenines. The insertion of the extra adenine, presumably during apoB gene transcription, is predicted to restore the correct apoB reading frame, thereby permitting the synthesis of a full-length apoB protein.