Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stanford researcher studies newly discovered ’good’ cholesterol gene

04.02.2003


Stanford University Medical Center researchers have found that a recently discovered gene regulates HDL (high density lipoproteins) cholesterol, also known as "good" cholesterol. The study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could lead to new therapies for heart disease, said lead author Thomas Quertermous, MD.



"This is a significant and unexpected finding, and the gene is going to be a real target for the prevention and treatment of heart disease," said Quertermous, the William G. Irwin Professor and chief of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. "This type of thing doesn’t happen every day."

HDL cholesterol, often referred to as the "good" cholesterol, has been proven to impact a person’s risk of developing heart disease. "HDL cholesterol is an independent predictor of one’s risk," said Quertermous. "If you have a high level of HDL cholesterol your chance of getting heart disease is very low."


Researchers know that levels of HDL cholesterol are regulated in part by members of the lipase gene family. Three years ago, Quertermous’ team and a laboratory on the East Coast simultaneously discovered the newest member of that family and found that its protein was expressed in a variety of tissues. Subsequent studies showed that the new gene - the endothelial lipase gene (LIPG) - played a role in lipid metabolism.

"It was a striking, if not dramatic, finding that this gene that we found in the blood vessel walls appeared to regulate HDL cholesterol levels," said Quertermous.

Quertermous’ team sought to examine the gene’s exact role in regulating HDL cholesterol level by examining genetic models with altered levels of endothelial lipase (EL) expression. Working with mouse models, the researchers increased EL expression in one group by inserting copies of the human gene and decreased EL expression by knocking out the LIPG gene in another group.

Quertermous reports that the findings were striking: Altering the genes showed a clear and significant inverse relationship between HDL cholesterol level and EL expression. Levels of HDL cholesterol decreased by 19 percent in the first group and increased by 57 percent in the group whose gene was knocked out.

"When we overexpressed the human gene in the mice, the HDL cholesterol levels dropped," said Quertermous. "Conversely, when we knocked out the gene in mice, the levels were much higher."

Quertermous said that his team lacks insight into the mechanism by which EL impacts HDL cholesterol levels, and that this is something his team will explore. The group will also further study mouse models, and a group of human patients, to see if changes in HDL cholesterol levels directly correlate with heart disease. "My hypothesis - and strong suspicion - is that if you knock out the gene, your chance of disease development is decreased," said Quertermous.

Quertermous said a greater understanding of this gene’s role in HDL cholesterol’s formation and metabolism will help researchers regulate this risk factor. "This becomes one of the most attractive targets available for the development of pharmaceutical agents to modulate HDL cholesterol levels," he said.


The research was done at the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at Stanford, which was established with a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Quertermous’ collaborators on the study include Allen Cooper, MD, professor of medicine at Stanford, and researchers at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu.

PRINT MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Brandt at (650) 723-0272 (mbrandt@stanford.edu)
BROADCAST MEDIA CONTACT: Neale Mulligan at (650) 724-2454 (nealem@stanford.edu)

Michelle Brandt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://mednews.stanford.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>