Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Closer To Locating Gene That May Explain Cholesterol Absorption

Date:
September 4, 1998
Source:
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
In a discovery that may shed light on why people absorb cholesterol at different rates, scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the National Institutes of Health have narrowed their search for a gene responsible for abnormal cholesterol absorption in individuals with a rare hereditary disease.

DALLAS--September 1, 1998--In a discovery that may shed light on why people absorb cholesterol at different rates, scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the National Institutes of Health have narrowed their search for a gene responsible for abnormal cholesterol absorption in individuals with a rare hereditary disease.

While cholesterol metabolism has been well-documented, scientists understand little about how cholesterol is absorbed from our diet and excreted by the body.

"Only a fraction of the cholesterol we consume is actually absorbed by the body," said Dr. Shailendra Patel, assistant professor of clinical nutrition and a scholar in the Center for Human Nutrition at UT Southwestern. "Different people absorb different amounts. Some might eat a cholesterol-laden meal and absorb 30 percent of it; someone else might eat a low-cholesterol meal but absorb 60 percent of it."

The researchers studied 10 families with sistosterolemia, a rare, recessively inherited disease characterized by the accumulation of plant sterols, premature heart disease and fatty deposits on the skin and tendons. Plant sterol is akin to cholesterol in animal products but normally is not absorbed by the body.

"In normal individuals, the body has the ability to selectively absorb cholesterol and exclude plant sterols,"said Patel, lead author of the study published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Individuals with sistosterolemia hyperabsorb cholesterol, but also absorb plant and shellfish sterols that are not normally absorbed. Hence, the gene that is disrupted may regulate selective absorption of dietary cholesterol.

"If we wanted to change someone's cholesterol absorption, this gene would be the target of treatment," Patel said. "We hope this is the key gene that will allow us to target cholesterol absorption as a whole new form of drug therapy."

"Our studies of sitosterolemia may help explain the mechanisms responsible for cholesterol uptake from the diet and on mechanisms that protects us from absorbing and retaining substances in food that are potentially harmful," said co-author Dr. Michael Brownstein, chief of the NIH's Section on Genetics: People Investigating Genes.

The researchers examined the genes of families from India, Finland, the Netherlands, Japan and the United States and mapped the genetic defect to chromosome 2p21.

Other researchers participating in the study included Dr. Scott Grundy, professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at UT Southwestern; Mi-Hye Lee, a fellow in the nutrition center; Dr. Gerald Salen of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School; and researchers from Shiga University of Medical Science (Japan), Johns Hopkins Hospital, University Hospital Jijmegen (The Netherlands) and University Hospital Helsinki (Finland).

The study was supported in part by grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Public Health Service, Ministry of Education (Japan), American Heart Association, Southwestern Medical Foundation and the Moss Heart Foundation (Dallas).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Scientists Closer To Locating Gene That May Explain Cholesterol Absorption." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980904035756.htm>.
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (1998, September 4). Scientists Closer To Locating Gene That May Explain Cholesterol Absorption. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980904035756.htm
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Scientists Closer To Locating Gene That May Explain Cholesterol Absorption." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980904035756.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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