One expert thinks this finding could lead to new ways to reduce fats linked to cardiovascular and other diseases.
"The main findings of this paper was the unexpected consequences of this protein," said Dr. Jay D. Horton, the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Chair in Obesity and Diabetes Research and a professor of internal medicine, digestive and liver diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He also authored an accompanying journal editorial.
"This protein provides a potential new target for reducing cholesterol and fat synthesis in the liver, which could have a positive impact on certain disease processes, such as high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels in the blood," Horton said.
Such a drug could also help treat fatty liver disease, which is a condition where there is too much fat in the liver, Horton said.
"However, how this would work in humans isn't known, and neither is the safety of such a drug," Horton said.
For more on cholesterol, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Ann-Hwee Lee, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Jay D. Horton, M.D., Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Chair in Obesity and Diabetes Research, and professor, internal medicine, digestive and liver diseases, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; June 12, 2008, Science, online
All rights reserved