Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Four genes identified that influence levels of 'bad' cholesterol

Date:
May 15, 2013
Source:
Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have identified four genes in baboons that influence levels of “bad” cholesterol. This discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Scientists at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute have identified four genes in baboons that influence levels of "bad" cholesterol. This discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to reduce the risk of heart disease.

"Our findings are important because they provide new targets for the development of novel drugs to reduce heart disease risk in humans," said Laura Cox, Ph.D., a Texas Biomed geneticist. "Since these genes have previously been associated with cancer, our findings suggest that genetic causes of heart disease may overlap with causes of some types of cancer."

The new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is published online and will appear in the July print issue of the Journal of Lipid Research.

Texas Biomed scientists screened their baboon colony of 1,500 animals to find three half-siblings with low levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad,"' cholesterol, and three half-siblings with high levels of LDL. In the study, these animals were fed a high-cholesterol, high-fat diet for seven weeks. Scientists then used gene array technology and high throughput sequencers to home in on the genes expressed in the two groups and differentiate those in the low LDL groups from those in the high LDL group. They discovered that four genes (named TENC1, ERBB3, ACVR1B, and DGKA) influence LDL levels.

Interestingly, these four genes are part of a signaling pathway important for cell survival and disruption of this pathway promotes some types of cancer.

It is well-known that a high level of LDL is a major risk factor for heart disease. Despite concerted efforts for the past 25 years to manage cholesterol levels through changes in lifestyle and treatment with medications, heart disease remains the leading cause of death and mortality in the United States and around the world. It will account for one out of four U.S. deaths in 2013, according to the American Heart Association.

Heart disease is a complex disorder thought to be a result of interactions between genetic and environmental factors, which occur primarily through diet. To understand why humans have different levels of LDL and thus variation in risk for heart disease, the genetic factors causing these differences need to be understood.

However, these studies are difficult to do in humans because it's practically impossible to control what people eat. Instead, Texas Biomed scientists are using baboons, which are similar to humans in their physiology and genetics, to identify genes that influence heart disease risk.

The new research also suggests that knowing many of the genes responsible for heart disease may be necessary to devise effective treatments. For example, several genes may need to be targeted at once to control risk.

The next step in this research is to find the mechanism by which these genes influence LDL cholesterol. "That starts to give us the specific targets for new therapies." Cox said. If all goes well, this information may be available within two years.

Other Texas Biomed scientists on the study included Genesio Karere, Ph.D.; Jeremy Glenn, B.S.; Shifra Birnbaum, B.S.; David Rainwater, Ph.D.; Michael Mahaney, Ph.D.; and John L. VandeBerg, Ph.D.

This research was supported by NIH grants P01 HL028972-27, P01 HL028972 Supplement, and P51 OD011133. It was conducted in part in facilities constructed with support grants C06 RR013556 and C06 RR015456.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. G. M. Karere, J. P. Glenn, S. Birnbaum, D. L. Rainwater, M. C. Mahaney, J. L. VandeBerg, L. A. Cox. Identification of candidate genes encoding an LDL-C QTL in baboons. The Journal of Lipid Research, 2013; DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M032649

Cite This Page:

Texas Biomedical Research Institute. "Four genes identified that influence levels of 'bad' cholesterol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515131444.htm>.
Texas Biomedical Research Institute. (2013, May 15). Four genes identified that influence levels of 'bad' cholesterol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515131444.htm
Texas Biomedical Research Institute. "Four genes identified that influence levels of 'bad' cholesterol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515131444.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital acknowledged Wednesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
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