Professor Sean Davidson at the UC College of Medicine and his team of researchers managed to artificially obtain Apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5), a protein expressed in the liver that can keep down the number of triglycerides. It’s a huge leap towards treating hypertriglyceridemia.
Triglycerides are the common enemy of every weight-loss diet. They are responsible for most of the body fat, not just in humans but in animals and plants also. Their presence in the blood acts as the enabler for the bidirectional transference of adipose fat and blood glucose from the liver. They are most commonly found in junk-food and they are the main reason we should avoid eating it.
The main repercussions they have on our health are atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke by directly causing hypertriglyceridemia, meaning high blood levels of triglycerides. Diabetes and obesity are also reasons for worry when it comes to hypertriglyceridemia.
One step closer to treating hypertriglyceridemia
The research focused on finding a way to artificially boost the level of Apolipoprotein A5 in the body. “The more APOA5 you have the faster the triglyceride is removed. Everybody agrees it is an important protein but scientists don’t know much about its structure or how it does what it does. If we could figure out how it works, we could come up with a drug that uses the same mechanism or trigger it to work better,” said Professor Davidson.
The first step was to artificially produce the miraculous protein. Into bacteria genetically engineered to produce human proteins, the researchers inserted a human gene coded by DNA. The bacteria produced APOA5. Then, the researchers removed it from the bacteria, purified it and moved to the next step of the study.
Lab mice were fed with high quantities of triglycerides that made the level of fat get turned on. Then, they were given the APOA5, which rapidly calmed it down. The next step will be the development of medicine based on APOA5. The protein proves to be important in other illnesses too, such as cancer, renal disease, suicide, and all-cause mortality.