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Insight into natural cholesterol control suggests novel cholesterol-lowering therapy

d, in turn, control the rate of cholesterol production.

"In addition to the biological significance, the findings have important clinical implications for cholesterol control," he said.

Cholesterol-lowering statins--taken by an estimated 10 million people each day to protect against coronary artery disease and reduce the incidence of heart attacks--limit cholesterol synthesis by inhibiting reductase function, he said. As a result, cells take up more cholesterol from the bloodstream, lowering its concentration there.

However, inhibition of reductase function by statins also limits the availability of regulatory intermediates that govern reductase activity, contributing to a major increase in active reductase that becomes progressively harder to control, according to the researchers. The new findings suggest that drugs that mimic lanosterol--given along with statins--may improve the drugs' long-term ability to lower cholesterol by stimulating reductase degradation.

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The other members of the research team include Bao-Liang Song and Russell A. DeBose-Boyd from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and Norman B. Javitt from New York University School of Medicine. The work was supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health (HL20948), Perot Family Foundation, and W.M. Keck Foundation. R.A.D.-B. is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health Mentored Minority Faculty Development Award (HL70441) and an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association.

Bao-Liang Song, Norman B. Javitt, and Russell A. DeBose-Boyd: "Insig-mediated degradation of HMG CoA reductase stimulated by lanosterol, an intermediate in the synthesis of cholesterol"

Publishing in Cell Metabolism, Volume 1, Number 3, March 2005, pages 179-189. www.cellmetabolism.org


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Source:Cell Press


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