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.

Related Articles


"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 November 27, 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 November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include 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:

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