Long-Life Gene Might Help Lower Cholesterol

A gene already associated with longer life span may also be linked to a pathway that clears cholesterol from the body, say Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers.

They said their finding could help lead to the creation of drugs that lower the risk of cholesterol-related diseases such as atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and Alzheimer’s disease.

The gene, called SIRT1, prevents cholesterol buildup by activating a cellular pathway that flushes cholesterol from the body using high density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol), the team explained.

In their research with mice, the MIT team found that low SIRT1 levels resulted in cholesterol buildup in cells such as macrophages (a type of immune cell), due to reduced activity of a protein called liver X receptor (LXR). This protein is responsible for moving cholesterol out of macrophage cells.

Full article:  Forbes

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