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

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>