The recently discovered apolipoprotein M (apoM) is a plasma protein of the lipocalin family associated with the lipoproteins (mainly high-density lipoproteins, or HDLs). Expression of the apoM gene in the liver is regulated by transcription factors that control key steps in hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism. Although the concentration of plasma apoM correlates with that of cholesterol, apoM was not identified as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in two prospective studies. In genetically modified mice, however, changes in plasma apoM concentration caused quantitative and qualitative changes in HDLs, and overexpression of the apoM gene reduced atherosclerosis. In conclusion, it seems that apoM plays a part in lipoprotein metabolism; however, the biological impact of apoM in humans remains to be determined.
Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2009, Vol 20, Issue 2, p. 66-71