Scientists at Jefferson Medical College and Jeffersons Kimmel Cancer Center have discovered one part of the mechanism behind a popular anti-cholesterol drug.
Steven Farber, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Eric Smart, Ph.D., at the University of Kentucky and their co-workers have found that treating hypercholesterolemic mice with the drug ezetimibe (Zetia) disrupts a complex of two proteins in the intestine. At the same time, they used "antisense" molecules to prevent the formation of the complex in zebrafish, resulting in impaired cholesterol absorption in the intestine. The results suggest that these proteins are integral parts of an unidentified cholesterol transport system in the intestine.
A better understanding of the mechanisms behind cholesterol transport and absorption in the intestine could lead to improved therapies for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
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