We describe two new hypolipidemic patients with very low plasma triglyceride and apolipoprotein B (apoB) levels with plasma lipid profiles similar to abetalipoproteinemia (ABL) patients. In these patients, we identified two previously uncharacterized missense mutations in the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) gene, R46G and D361Y, and studied their functional effects. We also characterized three missense mutations (H297Q D384A, and G661A) reported earlier in a familial hypobetalipoproteinemia patient. R46G had no effect on MTP expression or function and supported apoB secretion. H297Q D384A, and G661A mutants also supported apoB secretion similarly to WT MTP. Contrary to these four missense mutations, D361Y was unable to support apoB secretion. Functional analysis revealed that this mutant was unable to bind protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) or transfer lipids. The negative charge at residue 361 was critical for MTP function as D361E was able to support apoB secretion and transfer lipids. D361Y most likely disrupts the tightly packed middle alpha-helical region of MTP, mitigates PDI binding, abolishes lipid transfer activity, and causes ABL. On the other hand, the hypolipidemia in the other two patients was not due to MTP dysfunction. Thus, in this study of five missense mutations spread throughout MTP's three structural domains found in three hypolipidemic patients, we found that four of the mutations did not affect MTP function. Thus, novel mutations that cause severe hypolipidemia probably exist in other genes in these patients, and their recognition may identify novel proteins involved in the synthesis and/or catabolism of plasma lipoproteins. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.