Document Type



Apolipoproteins (lipid-free) are lipid-binding proteins that circulate in the plasma of human blood and are responsible for the clearance of lipoproteins. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is one of the several classes of this protein family. It acts as a ligand for the low-density lipid (LDL) receptors and is important for the clearance of very low-density lipid (VLDL) and chylomicron remnants. The APOE gene locus is polymorphic, with three major known alleles, APOE*3, *4, and *2. We investigated the distribution of the allele frequency of the APOE gene locus and describe here the genetic variation in four Kuwaiti subpopulations: Arab origin (Arabian peninsula), Arab Bedouin tribes, Iranian origin, and the heterogeneous population. We also describe the use of Spreadex gels in resolving the amplified and digested products of the APOE gene locus. DNA was extracted from whole blood and subjected to PCR and then to RFLP analysis. Allele and genotype frequencies were estimated for the total population and for each subpopulation. Statistical analysis showed no difference in the allele frequencies between the four groups. The frequency of APOE*3 in the Kuwaiti population was highest (88.4%) followed by the frequency of APOE*4 (6.5%) and APOE*2 (5.1%). The genotype and allele frequencies obtained for the Kuwaiti population fell within the reported worldwide distribution for the APOE gene locus. Moreover, the results obtained in this study showed no statistical difference ( p > 0.05) between the APOE allele and genotype frequencies between the subgroups for all six genotypes and three alleles, supporting the assumption of admixture in the Kuwaiti population and that the obtained frequencies were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Finally, we found that the distribution of the APOE alleles in Kuwait differs somewhat from those reported in other Arab populations, suggesting that the Arabs originating from the Arabian peninsula are different from those of Lebanon, Morocco, and Sudan.