Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecule May Help Boost "Good Cholesterol"

Date:
December 28, 1997
Source:
Southern Research Institute
Summary:
For the first time ever, cardiovascular disease researchers can now get a good look at human apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) — the major protein component of high density lipoprotein (HDL). Scientists caution that while these results may not immediately lead to a new medication to control cholesterol, another very important piece in the puzzle has been revealed in the fight against heart disease.

Birmingham, Ala. — For the first time ever, cardiovascular disease researchers can now get a good look at human apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) — the major protein component of high density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL is known as the "good cholesterol" because it protects against heart disease, the country's leading cause of death. Scientists caution that while these results may not immediately lead to a new medication to control cholesterol, another very important piece in the puzzle has been revealed in the fight against heart disease.

Related Articles


"A lot of science is done ‘under the lamp post,' so to speak," says David W. Borhani, Ph.D., a chemist at Southern Research Institute in Birmingham and leader of the apo A-I crystallography project. "Our new apo A-I structure has made that light a whole lot brighter now — giving researchers a clear picture to focus on."

In a paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, researchers at Southern Research Institute (SRI) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) describe how they determined the three-dimensional structure of apo A-I using x-ray crystallography — a method widely used to study the structures of biological macromolecules at atomic resolution. X-ray crystallography is also being used increasingly in rational drug design.

The new apo A-I structure is the result of a collaboration between Southern Research's Borhani and UAB professors Jeffrey A. Engler, Ph.D. and Christie G. Brouillette, Ph.D., and their graduate student Danise P. Rodgers, Ph.D.

Scientists have studied lipoproteins — such as HDL — for decades hoping to advance cardiovascular disease research and drug development. Human clinical trials have shown that the higher the HDL level in a person's blood, the lower the risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Understanding the structure of apo A-I is key to understanding this protective effect of HDL.

The Birmingham apo A-I model is important because it suggests what apo A-I looks like when bound to lipid in the HDL particle. As the researchers began to define this egg-shaped model, they realized its potential impact on the future of cardiovascular studies. "We began to call it our ‘Fabergé Egg'," said Engler, the team's molecular biologist, "because it was so rare and valuable."

Until now, scientists studying apo A-I have had to rely on educated guesses about the three-dimensional structure of this critical component of HDL. These guesses — or models — focused on two possible alternative structures: the "belt" model and the "picket fence" model.

The apo A-I structure determined by Borhani and colleagues strongly suggests that the "belt" model is correct and provides even more details about this model. "There are gaps in our understanding of how HDL works," said Borhani. "But studying this three-dimensional structure of apo A-I is an important step toward understanding the beneficial role HDL plays in preventing heart disease." — 30—


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Southern Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Southern Research Institute. "Molecule May Help Boost "Good Cholesterol"." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971228233648.htm>.
Southern Research Institute. (1997, December 28). Molecule May Help Boost "Good Cholesterol". ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971228233648.htm
Southern Research Institute. "Molecule May Help Boost "Good Cholesterol"." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971228233648.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins