ANGPTL3 and Apolipoprotein C-III as Novel Lipid-Lowering Targets.
Akoumianakis I., Zvintzou E., Kypreos K., Filippatos TD.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Despite significant progress in plasma lipid lowering strategies, recent clinical trials highlight the existence of residual cardiovascular risk. Angiopoietin-like protein 3 (ANGPTL3) and apolipoprotein C-III (Apo C-III) have been identified as novel lipid-lowering targets. RECENT FINDINGS: Apo C-III and ANGPTL3 have emerged as novel regulators of triglyceride (TG) and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. ANGPTL3 is an inhibitor of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), reducing lipolysis of Apo B-containing lipoproteins. Loss-of-function ANGPLT3 mutations are associated with reduced plasma cholesterol and TG, while novel ANGPLT3 inhibition strategies, including monoclonal antibodies (evinacumab), ANGPLT3 antisense oligonucleotides (IONIS-ANGPTL3-LRx), and small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing techniques (ARO-ANG3), result in increased lipolysis and significant reductions of LDL-C and TG levels in phase I and II clinical trials. Similarly, Apo C-III inhibits LPL while promoting the hepatic secretion of TG-rich lipoproteins and preventing their clearance. Loss-of-function APOC3 mutations have been associated with reduced TG levels. Targeting of Apo C-III with volanesorsen, an APOC3 siRNA, results in significant reduction in plasma TG levels but possibly also increased risk for thrombocytopenia, as recently demonstrated in phase I, II, and III clinical trials. ARO-APOC3 is a novel siRNA-based agent targeting Apo C-III which is currently under investigation with regard to its lipid-lowering efficiency. ANGPTL3 and Apo C-III targeting agents have demonstrated striking lipid-lowering effects in recent clinical trials; however, more thorough safety and efficacy data are required. Here, we evaluate the role of ANGPLT3 and Apo C-III in lipid metabolism, present the latest clinical advances targeting those molecules, and outline the remaining scientific challenges on residual lipid-associated cardiovascular risk.