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Am J Cardiol. 2005 Sep 5;96(5A):24F-33F.

Effects of statins on 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme a reductase inhibition beyond low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

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1
Vascular Medicine Research Unit, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02139, USA. jliao@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Statins are potent inhibitors of cholesterol biosynthesis and exert beneficial effects in the primary and secondary prevention of coronary artery disease. However, the overall benefits observed with statins appear to occur much earlier and to be greater than what might be expected from changes in lipid levels alone, suggesting effects beyond cholesterol lowering. Indeed, recent studies indicate that some of the cholesterol-independent or "pleiotropic" effects of statins involve improving endothelial function, enhancing the stability of atherosclerotic plaques, decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation, and inhibiting the thrombogenic response. Many of these pleiotropic effects are mediated by inhibition of isoprenoids, which serve as lipid attachments for intracellular signaling molecules. In particular, inhibition of the small guanosine triphosphate-binding proteins Rho, Ras, and Rac, whose proper membrane localization and function are dependent on isoprenylation, may play an important role in mediating the pleiotropic effects of statins.

PMID:
16126020
PMCID:
PMC2684977
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjcard.2005.06.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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