Speaking June 13, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)/ 8th International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Conference (IUBMB) in Boston, Dr. Dennis Vance said the results suggest an unique therapeutic approach to lowering LDL cholesterol and homocysteine levels, both known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Vance is Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. A leader in the biochemistry of lipids, he has spent his career understanding how the body regulates the manufacture of certain lipids and their functions in the human body. The new study reported at ASBMB focuses on the two methods or pathways by which the liver makes phosphatidylcholine (PC), the key building block of cell membranes in humans and other animals - and an important component of the HDL and LDL lipoproteins that carry fat and cholesterol in the blood stream.
The CT pathway contributes about 70 percent of the PC in the liver and the PEMT pathway contributes the other 30 percent. When the researchers genetically altered the mice so that their livers lacked either the CT or the PEMT pathway, the mice appeared normal and bred normally. But in each case, whether the CT or the PEMT pathway was missing, levels of lipoproteins were decreased by as much as half.
This suggests, said Dr. Vance, that pharmacological inhibition of the manufacture of PC in the liver might be a useful approach to lower LDL in the blood str
Contact: Sarah Goodwin
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology