Apolipoprotein L1 – ethnically specific determinant of renal and heart failure

Authors: Jaroslav A. Hubáček
Authors‘ workplace: Centrum experimentální medicíny IKEM, Praha
Published in: AtheroRev 2019; 4(3): 159-161


Cardiovascular and renal diseases are responsible for worldwide high mortality and morbidity. Both diseases have a significant genetic background, and a number of genes (eg. apolipoprotein E and FTO genes) are involved in the development of both diseases. Another gene, whose variants are associated with the development of these diseases is the apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene. There are several hundred polymorphisms within the APOL1. However, the results reported so far show that the risk variants of this gene (mostly referred to as G1 and G2; encoded by rs73885319/rs60910145 and rs71785313 SNPs) are strictly ethnically specific – they occur exclusively in Africans, but not in Europeans or Asians. Risky alleles increase the risk of renal failure 7–10 times and doubled the risk of cardiovascular disease development. Ethnic differences are the result of diverse evolution and different selection pressures (the evolutionary advantage of these alleles is the resistance to sleeping sickness) affecting different ethnic groups and underline the need for targeted personalized analyses, taking into account these differences.


Genetics – apolipoprotein L1 – ethnicity – renal failure

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Angiology Diabetology Internal medicine Cardiology General practitioner for adults

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