News of the WeekLIPID RESEARCH

Possible New Way to Lower Cholesterol

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Science  01 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5484, pp. 1446-1447
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5484.1446

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Clinicians may soon be able to mount a multipronged attack against cholesterol, the artery-clogging lipid whose buildup in the body is a major contributor to heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. In work reported on page 1524, a team has pinpointed a biological master switch in mice that controls three pathways that work together to both rid the body of excess cholesterol and prevent its absorption from the intestine. The work suggests a new mechanism for reducing cholesterol, for example, with drugs that turn up the activity of the master switch, a protein known as the retinoid X receptor.