Researchers make synthetic HDL cholesterol with a core of gold

From Reuters:

- Researchers make synthetic HDL cholesterol

- Synthetic HDL has a tiny core of gold -- "the idea is you take this and just urinate it out"


Lipoprotein structure (chylomicron) (left). Image source: Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License. Three pieces of native gold (right). Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

- Merck develops an HDL-raising drug called anacetrapib, plans to start late-stage trials in humans in 2009

- Merck's compound has similar mechanism of action to a failed drug by Pfizer called torcetrapib, linked to deaths

- CETP Inhibitor Evacetrapib Increases HDL, according to 2011 study published in JAMA


Anacetrapib. Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

- Both anacetrapib and torcetrapib are CETP inhibitors. CETP is an abbreviation for cholesterylester transfer protein - a plasma protein that facilitates the transport of cholesteryl esters and triglycerides between the lipoproteins

References:

Researchers make synthetic HDL cholesterol: study. Reuters.

Effects of the CETP Inhibitor Evacetrapib Administered as Monotherapy or in Combination With Statins on HDL and LDL Cholesterol, November 16, 2011, Nicholls et al. 306 (19): 2099. JAMA.

Monounsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, nuts and avocados increase "good" HDL cholesterol levels by 12% http://goo.gl/GBQa5

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