Polymorphism of the APOE Locus in the Azores Islands (Portugal)

Our aim in this study is to report on the polymorphism of the APOE gene in the Azores Islands (Portugal) to obtain a population baseline of the existing variation in this locus, known to be one of the genetic determinants of plasma lipid levels. One hundred twenty-six Azorean individuals were typed for the APOE polymorphism using standard PCR-RFLP. Allele frequencies obtained for APOE*2, APOE*3, and APOE*4 were 6.75%, 83.73%, and 9.52%, respectively. The APOE*3/*3 genotype presented the highest frequency (69.84%), and the APOE*4/*4 genotype had the lowest frequency (0.79%). Genotype frequencies were in conformity with Hardy-Weinberg expectations. The observed genotype and allele frequencies were similar to those reported for other Iberian samples. Furthermore, Nei's gene diversity (Ĥ=0.2864±0.0351) was similar to that reported for samples from mainland Portugal. The data generated from this study will be of importance in the context of ongoing studies concerning the factors that influence lipid levels in the Azorean population.