1. We have used polyclonal antibodies and a complementary DNA clone for human lecithinxholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) to study LCAT protein and the structure of the LCAT gene, respectively, in patients with familial LCAT deficiency from Norway, Ireland, Germany and Italy.
2. The patients had low levels of non-functional LCAT protein in their serum as measured by rocket Immunoelectrophoresis; its mol. wt. of approximately 68 000 was identical with that of LCAT in normal plasma, as judged by immunoblotting.
3. Enzymatic digestion of DNA samples from the patients produced LCAT gene fragments which were indistinguishable from those found in normal individuals.
4. We conclude that LCAT deficiency in these patients is not caused by a large deletion or rearrangement of the LCAT gene sequences.