Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

4 genes indentified that influence levels of 'bad' cholesterol

16.05.2013
Scientists at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio have identified four genes in baboons that influence levels of "bad" cholesterol. This discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to reduce the risk of heart disease.

"Our findings are important because they provide new targets for the development of novel drugs to reduce heart disease risk in humans," said Laura Cox, Ph.D., a Texas Biomed geneticist.

"Since these genes have previously been associated with cancer, our findings suggest that genetic causes of heart disease may overlap with causes of some types of cancer." The new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is published online and will appear in the July print issue of the Journal of Lipid Research. It can be found at: http://www.jlr.org/content/early/2013/05/06/jlr.M032649.full.pdf+html.

Texas Biomed scientists screened their baboon colony of 1,500 animals to find three half-siblings with low levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad,"' cholesterol, and three half-siblings with high levels of LDL. In the study, these animals were fed a high-cholesterol, high-fat diet for seven weeks. Scientists then used gene array technology and high throughput sequencers to home in on the genes expressed in the two groups and differentiate those in the low LDL groups from those in the high LDL group. They discovered that four genes (named TENC1, ERBB3, ACVR1B, and DGKA) influence LDL levels. Interestingly, these four genes are part of a signaling pathway important for cell survival and disruption of this pathway promotes some types of cancer.

It is well-known that a high level of LDL is a major risk factor for heart disease. Despite concerted efforts for the past 25 years to manage cholesterol levels through changes in lifestyle and treatment with medications, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States and around the world. It will account for one out of four U.S. deaths in 2013, according to the American Heart Association.

Heart disease is a complex disorder thought to be a result of interactions between genetic and environmental factors, which occur primarily through diet. To understand why humans have different levels of LDL and thus variation in risk for heart disease, the genetic factors causing these differences need to be understood.

However, these studies are difficult to do in humans because it's practically impossible to control what people eat. Instead, Texas Biomed scientists are using baboons, which are similar to humans in their physiology and genetics, to identify genes that influence heart disease risk.

The new research also suggests that knowing many of the genes responsible for heart disease may be necessary to devise effective treatments. For example, several genes may need to be targeted at once to control risk.

The next step in this research is to find the mechanism by which these genes influence LDL cholesterol. "That starts to give us the specific targets for new therapies." Cox said. If all goes well, this information may be available within two years.
Other Texas Biomed scientists on the study included Genesio Karere, Ph.D.; Jeremy Glenn, B.S.; Shifra Birnbaum, B.S.; David Rainwater, Ph.D.; Michael Mahaney, Ph.D.; and John L. VandeBerg, Ph.D.

This research was supported by NIH grants P01 HL028972-27, P01 HL028972 Supplement, and P51 OD011133. It was conducted in part in facilities constructed with support grants C06 RR013556 and C06 RR015456.

Texas Biomed, formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, is one of the world's leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to advancing global human health through innovative biomedical research.

Located on a 200-acre campus on the northwest side of San Antonio, Texas, the Institute partners with hundreds of researchers and institutions around the world, targeting advances in the fight against emerging infectious diseases, AIDS, hepatitis, malaria, parasitic infections and a host of other diseases, as well as cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, obesity, cancer, psychiatric disorders, and problems of pregnancy. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to http://www.TxBiomed.org, or call Joe Carey, Texas Biomed's Vice President for Public Affairs, at 210-258-9437.

Joseph Carey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.txbiomed.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>