Heart Disease

Triglycerides, bedside to bench

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Science  02 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6217, pp. 39-40
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6217.39-e

Blood tests for heart disease risk measure cholesterol and fat molecules called triglycerides. Interest in triglycerides recently intensified with the discovery that people who carry mutations that disrupt the function of a glycoprotein called APOC3 (apolipoprotein C-III) have lower plasma triglyceride levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. Scientists thought APOC3 inhibited lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme catalyzing triglyceride breakdown. Gaudet et al. now reveal a more complicated mechanism. They found that three patients who had extremely high triglyceride levels because of a genetic deficiency in lipoprotein lipase nonetheless benefited from a drug that inhibits APOC3 synthesis. Clearly, APOC3 still has secrets to reveal.

N. Engl. J. Med. 371, 2200 (2014).

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