Gene variant reduces cholesterol by two mechanisms

July 2, 2012

High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol increases the risk for coronary heart disease.

A variant in the encoding the protein sortilin is associated with reduced plasma LDL levels and a decreased risk of heart attack.

This variant results in markedly higher sortilin in liver.

Dr. Daniel Rader and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia have uncovered a two-pronged mechanism for the change in LDL observed.

Using a mouse model system, the Rader team found that increased liver sortilin is responsible for reducing secretion of APOB, a protein that transports LDL to tissue, and also triggers LDL breakdown.

Both of these effects were dependent on a cellular process known as lysosomal targeting.

Their data provide functional evidence that genetically-increased hepatic sortilin in humans reduces LDL by increasing LDL degradation, thus removing LDL from circulation, as well as decreasing APOB.

Explore further: Non-HDL-C level associated with risk of major cardiovascular events among patients taking statins

More information: Hepatic sortilin regulates both apolipoprotein B secretion and LDL catabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Synthetic 3D-printed material helps bones regrow

September 28, 2016

A cheap and easy to make synthetic bone material has been shown to stimulate new bone growth when implanted in the spines of rats and a monkey's skull, researchers said Wednesday.

Epigenetic clock predicts life expectancy

September 28, 2016

UCLA geneticist Steve Horvath led a team of 65 scientists in seven countries to record age-related changes to human DNA, calculate biological age and estimate a person's lifespan. A higher biological age—regardless of chronological ...

Engineered blood vessels grow in lambs

September 27, 2016

In a hopeful development for children born with congenital heart defects, scientists said Tuesday they had built artificial blood vessels which grew unaided when implanted into lambs, right into adulthood.

Fighting the aging process at a cellular level

September 22, 2016

It was about 400 BC when Hippocrates astutely observed that gluttony and early death seemed to go hand in hand. Too much food appeared to 'extinguish' life in much the same way as putting too much wood on a fire smothers ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.