In an article published in the latest issue of Science, the scientists report on the identification of the protein, named NPC1L1, as playing an essential role in the ezetimibe-sensitive cholesterol absorption pathway.
By demonstrating the function of the NPC1L1 protein, scientists at SPRI have made a significant advance toward deciphering the cholesterol absorption pathway in the intestine.
|The majority of cholesterol absorption occurs in the jejunum.|
This finding represents an important new discovery which helps explain how the body regulates cholesterol absorption.
The team characterized and determined the function of a previously identified gene known as Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 (NPC1L1).
Led by Dr Michael Graziano, senior director, Cardiovascular/Metabolic Discovery Research, the scientists identified NPC1L1 after years of studying enterocytes. These cells comprise a small proportion of the total number of cells in the intestine. They have not previously been studied in great detail.
They found that the jejunum is the region of the intestine where the majority of cholesterol absorption occurs.