New Factors in Achieving Cholesterol Balance in Cells

An imbalance of cholesterol in certain cell types plays a role in several diseases. Therefore, knowing precisely how cells regulate their cholesterol levels is central to understanding the development of these diseases, and to identify new possible treatments. The statin class of drugs, worth >$30 billion a year, have been effective in treating heart disease but are not without their side effects. Statins inhibit a very early step in cholesterol synthesis.

This project investigates the regulation of novel control points later in cholesterol synthesis, which have been largely overlooked. Methods will include mammaliancell culture, recombinant DNA techniques, fluorescence microscopy, real-time PCR, gene transfection, metabolic labelling, use of luciferase reporter assays, SDS-PAGE and Western blotting.

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