Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a plasma protein and a central mediator of lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. Its three isoforms E2, E3, and E4 are encoded by the alleles ε2, 3 and 4, respectively. In Western societies, APOE ε4 is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, and represents a significant risk factor for age-related disorders such as cardiovascular events or late-onset Alzheimer's disease. The ε4 allele occurs in approximately 14% of the general middle-aged German population. A recent study conducted by us together with colleagues suggests APOE ε4 may be a positive modulator of vitamin D status and an example of antagonistic pleiotropy. A follow-up project examines other APOE genotype-dependent effects with an emphasis on evolutionary aspects. We are particularly interested in interactions between APOE genotype, dietary factors (e.g. caloric restriction) and ageing processes using APOE2, 3 and 4 gene targeted replacement mice. This study is performed together with Gerald Rimbach and Patricia Hübbe from the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science at Kiel University.
Involved PhD student: Janina Dose