Research at Unit for Cardiac and Cardiovascular Genetics: Cellular cholesterol metabolism
A high level of plasma LDL cholesterol is major risk factors for coronary heart disease. It has been well documented that lowering the levels of plasma LDL cholesterol by dietary or pharmacological measures, reduces the risk for coronary heart disease. The most widely used lipid-lowering drugs are the statins which may lower the levels of plasma LDL cholesterol by 50%. However, because of side effects which prevent a certain proportion of the population from using statins, and the failure to achieve sufficient LDL cholesterol reductions in severely hypercholesterolemic subjects, there is a need to develop other lipid-lowering strategies. To this end, there is a need to characterize the cellular cholesterol metabolism in order to identify pathways that could be the target for novel lipid-lowering strategies.