Differences between genotyping and phenotyping methods for assessing apolipoprotein(a) size polymorphisms

Josep M. Simó, Jordi Camps, Silvia Martín, Juan Pedro-Botet, Natalia Ferré, Frederic Gómez, Jorge Joven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The aim of the present study was to analyze, on a double-blind basis, the relationships between the apolipoprotein(a) (apo(a)) gene and protein size polymorphisms in healthy volunteers (n = 99) and patients with premature myocardial infarction (n = 91). Apo(a) genotypes were determined by pulse-field electrophoresis and phenotypes were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-agarose gel electrophoresis. Results showed that phenotyping overestimated apo(a) size with respect to genotyping (mean (SD) =3.7 (3.4) kringle units; p < 0.001) in subjects with a double-band genotype, although both measurements were highly correlated (r = 0.83; p < 0.001). We also observed that the protein band in subjects with a single-band phenotype was related more closely to the smallest allele than to the largest allele band. The correlation of plasma lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) concentration was stronger with the phenotype than with the genotype. We hypothesize that posttranslational modifications in the apo(a) molecule may be the most plausible explanation for the discrepancies observed. In conclusion, the present study highlights the dissimilarities between phenotyping and genotyping methods for the measurement of apo(a) size and suggests that laboratories should carefully consider these relationships and the transfer of results between such methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1340-1344
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Electrophoresis
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Myocardial infarction


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