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Researchers Explore Functioning of HDL Cholesterol

High-density lipoprotein proteome analysis holds the key to its functional role in health and disease

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with systemic inflammation, coronary heart disease, diabetes and chronic renal disease, the protective effects of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol may be lost, according to a review published in the December issue of the FASEB Journal.

Angelo M. Scanu, M.D., and Celina Edelstein, of the University of Chicago, reviewed recent literature on human HDLs, in light of past and current findings emphasizing the role of the two main constitutive apolipoproteins -- apoA-I and apoA-II -- in health and disease.

The findings highlight the anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective function of HDL attributed to apoA-I in macrophage reverse cholesterol transport that led to development of apoA-I mimetics such as D-4F, and the role of apoA-II gene in visceral fat accumulation and triglyceride metabolism. However, in patients with systemic inflammation and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, post-translational modification of HDL leads to a proatherogenic role, for instance, due to advanced glycation end products of apoA-I seen in diabetes mellitus.

According to the authors, it is "critical to determine the nature of the interactions of the proteins/peptides associated with the HDL surface and the dependence that this association plays on their function. Of equal importance would be to compare in vivo samples from the same subject, the HDL proteome both in the plasma and the atheromatous plaque, in order to assess the effect that a different environmental condition may play on the stability and function of the chosen parameter."

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