Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


A new 'idol' grabs the spotlight

UCLA study discovers enzyme that controls 'bad' cholesterol

BACKGROUND: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the so-called "bad cholesterol" often linked to medical problems like heart disease and clogged arteries. Cells in the liver produce a specific receptor that sticks to LDL and removes it from the blood, lowering cholesterol levels. Statin drugs also reduce LDL cholesterol levels by boosting cells' production of the receptor.

FINDINGS: Using a mouse model, UCLA scientists discovered a new mechanism that controls cells' production of LDL receptor. The team identified an enzyme called Idol that destroys the receptor, permitting more LDL cholesterol to circulate in the blood. In blocking Idol's activity, the researchers triggered cells to make more receptor and absorb more cholesterol from the body.

"We only know of three pathways that regulate the LDL receptor. The first two are already targeted by existing drugs," explained Dr. Peter Tontonoz, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Idol is the first mechanism discovered in several years that may lead to a new medication designed to control cholesterol levels."

IMPACT: The findings suggest that development of a drug that interferes with Idol's activity could influence cholesterol metabolism and lower levels of bad cholesterol. Doctors could prescribe the new medication in conjunction with statin drugs, which also cut cholesterol levels by targeting a different enzyme linked to the LDL receptor. This could benefit patients that cannot tolerate statin-related side effects.

AUTHORS: Tontonoz collaborated with Noam Zelcer, Cynthia Hong and Rima Boyadjian. The research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Tontonoz and Zelcer have filed a patent related to the research findings.

JOURNAL: The research appears in the June 11 online edition of the journal Science.

GRAPHICS: Image showing how the LDL receptor changes appearance after contact with the Idol enzyme.

Elaine Schmidt | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>