High plasma concentrations of apolipoprotein (a) (apo(a)) have been implicated as a major independent risk factor for atherosclerosis in humans. Apo(a) is a large, evolutionary new gene (present primarily in primates) for which considerable controversy exists concerning the factors that regulate its expression. To investigate the in vivo regulation of apo(a), we have created several lines of YAC transgenic mice containing a 110–kb human apo(a) gene surrounded by greater than 60 kb of 5′ and 3′ flanking DNA. Studies in humans have suggested that acute–phase inducers increase and sex steroids decrease apo(a) concentrations, but these results are controversial. Analysis of the YAC transgenic mice conclusively supports the hypothesized role of sex steroids and refutes the suggested role of acute–phase inducers in regulating the apo(a) gene.
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Frazer, K., Narla, G., Zhang, J. et al. The apolipoprotein(a) gene is regulated by sex hormones and acute–phase inducers in YAC transgenic mice. Nat Genet 9, 424–431 (1995) doi:10.1038/ng0495-424
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