Nav: Home

Rethinking how cholesterol is integrated into cells

September 20, 2019

Most people have heard of "cholesterol levels" and the dangers of high blood cholesterol, which is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease. But besides the harmful side effects of high cholesterol, cholesterol is an essential component of all cells and fundamental to a host of important functions of the body. Hormones like estrogen and testosterone are made from cholesterol, for example.

It has been known for a long time that cholesterol is transported around the body in the blood as small particles consisting of fat and protein. In the body's cells, these particles are broken down and cholesterol is released and integrated as part of the cell. Although this process is essential, not just for humans, but for all animals and plants, surprisingly little is known about how cholesterol is actually incorporated into the cells after the breakdown of these particles.

In recent years, interest in how cholesterol is integrated and incorporated - and not least how this process is regulated - has grown tremendously. This is partly due the huge pharmaceutical potential in regulating this process, as shown with blockbuster drugs such as Zetia, which regulate cholesterol uptake from food. In addition, it has been shown that many viruses, including Ebola, uses the same process to infect cells.

During the past five years, researchers from Aarhus University have collaborated with researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Leeds to investigate how cholesterol is incorporated into cells, using biophysical and structural biological methods. The results have led to a groundbreaking insight into the process and to a new model for how cholesterol is integrated and incorporated that fundamentally changes our prior understanding of the process.

The results have just been published in the world leading journal Cell.
-end-
"Structural insight into eukaryotic sterol transport through Niemann-Pick type C proteins"

Mikael B. L. Winkler, Rune T. Kidmose, Maria Szomek, Katja Thaysen, Shaun Rawson, Stephen P. Muench, Daniel Wüstner, Bjørn Panyella Pedersen.

Cell (2019), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.08.038

Aarhus University

Related Cardiovascular Disease Articles:

A talk with your GP may prevent cardiovascular disease
Having a general practitioner (GP) who is trained in motivational interviewing may reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.
Dilemma of COVID-19, aging and cardiovascular disease
Whether individuals should continue to take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is discussed in this article.
Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
New insights into the effect of aging on cardiovascular disease
Aging adults are more likely to have - and die from - cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts.
Premature death from cardiovascular disease
National data were used to examine changes from 2000 to 2015 in premature death (ages 25 to 64) from cardiovascular disease in the United States.
Ultrasound: The potential power for cardiovascular disease therapy
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.
Despite the ACA, millions of Americans with cardiovascular disease still can't get care
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Americans, yet millions with CVD or cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) still can't access the care they need, even years after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease
In the first Mendelian randomization study to look at this, researchers have found evidence that excess weight and body fat cause a range of heart and blood vessel diseases (rather than just being associated with it).
Enzyme may indicate predisposition to cardiovascular disease
Study suggests that people with low levels of PDIA1 in blood plasma may be at high risk of thrombosis; this group also investigated PDIA1's specific interactions in cancer.
Cardiovascular disease in China
This study analyzed data from the Global Burden of Disease Study to look at the rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in China along with death and disability from CVD from 1990 to 2016.
More Cardiovascular Disease News and Cardiovascular Disease Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.