Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein provides hope for new medicines to lower cholesterol

09.06.2005


An international research team has discovered a new target molecule, Fbw7, for developing drugs with the potential to complement or replace statins in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The findings are being published in the new issue of the scientific journal Cell Metabolism.



Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is needed for the formation of our cells and for the production of hormones. The amount needed can be provided by the body itself, but our eating habits often lead to too much cholesterol. The surplus is stored in the walls of our vessels, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular disorders, the most common cause of death in the Western world. What‚s more, individuals with cardiovascular diseases run a greater risk of being overweight and contracting diabetes.

The protein SREBP regulates the genes that control the amount of cholesterol and other fats in cells. SREBP‚s ability to regulate the new production, metabolism, and uptake of cholesterol from the blood is extremely important in the liver, where huge quantities of cholesterol are absorbed and rendered harmless. SREBP is therefore a suitable target molecule for the development of new drugs for cardiovascular diseases, overweight, and diabetes.


The most common medicinal treatment for heightened levels of cholesterol today is a group of drugs called statins. These drugs activate SREBP and thus enhance the capacity of the liver to render cholesterol harmless. However, in high doses, statins can have side effects, since they also block the new production of necessary cholesterol in other cells in the body.

The useful effect takes place primarily in the liver‚s uptake from the blood, explains Johan Ericsson from the Ludwig Institute, Uppsala University, who led the study in collaboration with Harvard Medical School.

His team discovered in their molecular studies of the protein SREBP that it had a binding point that ought to suit the protein Fbw7, which had been identified by the Harvard researchers. It turned out that Fbw7 inhibited the metabolism of fat by breaking down SREBP. Consequently, inactivating Fbw7 led to greater amounts of SREBP and increased uptake of cholesterol.

Now we need to look more closely at the mechanisms behind the interaction between these two molecules. Fbw7 also has other important functions in the cell, so the goal is to be able to knock out its effect on SREBP only, says Johan Ericsson.

Anneli Waara | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cellmetabolism.org/content/current

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>