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Scientists Find A Tunnel That Transfers Lipids

  January, 25 2007 10:59
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Scientists have determined the structure of CETP -- the protein that transfers lipids in the blood from 'good' to 'bad' cholesterol -- according to a study in the February 2007 issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. There are several kinds of lipoproteins, including LDL (low-density lipoprotein, the so-called 'bad' cholesterol) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein, the so-called 'good' cholesterol). CETP is known to transfers lipids from HDL to LDL,

Using x-ray crystallography, Xiayang Qiu and colleagues determine that CETP It has a boomerang-like shape, with a tunnel running through it. The curvature may be important for docking lipoproteins, which have a complementary shape. The tunnel was found filled with lipids, and when researchers blocked it, the transfer of lipids was affected, showing that the tunnel indeed functions as a passageway for lipids.

Because CETP transfers lipids from 'good' to 'bad' cholesterol, drugs that interfere with this activity could be used to treat patients with cardiovascular disease.

Author contact:

Xiayang Qiu (Pfizer Inc, Groton, CT, USA)
E-mail: xiayang.qiu@pfizer.com

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Structural & Molecular Biology press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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