Insight Into Natural Cholesterol Control Suggests Novel Cholesterol-lowering Therapy15 years, 2 months ago
Posted on Apr 18, 2005, 8 p.m.
By Bill Freeman
New work reported in the March issue of Cell Metabolism has provided insight into a key mechanism by which cells limit cholesterol synthesis. The finding suggests a novel approach to the development of cholesterol-lowering drugs that may boost the effect of statins, one of the most prescribed cholesterol inhibitors, according to researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Cells obtain cholesterol, an important component of cell membranes, by building it internally or by taking it up from the bloodstream. The cholesterol-building process involves more than 25 enzymes, including one called HMG CoA reductase, and many layers of regulatory control, said Russell DeBose-Boyd, senior author of the study.
Scientists have long known that cells respond to a high cholesterol diet by shutting down its internal synthesis, he explained. However, the molecular mechanisms by which cholesterol and other related compounds exert that self-control have only more recently begun to emerge.