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Glob Cardiol Sci Pract. 2016 Jun 30;2016(2):e201614. doi: 10.21542/gcsp.2016.14.

ASGR1 - a new target for lowering non-HDL cholesterol.

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Division of Cardiology, Aswan Heart Center, Aswan, Egypt.


Non-HDL cholesterol (non-HDL-C) has been introduced as an alternative cardiovascular (CV) risk marker and a secondary therapeutic target in patients with combined hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, or chronic kidney disease. An important genetic study on the Icelandic population has recently identified a strong link between a new gene - ASGR1 (for asialoglycoprotein receptor) - mutation, plasma non-HDL-C levels, and coronary heart disease (CHD). Heterozygous carriers of a rare noncoding 12-base-pair (bp) deletion (del12 deletion) in intron 4 of ASGR1 had a 13.6 mg/dl lower level of non-HDL-C and a 34% lower risk of CHD than non carriers. The cardioprotective effect of ASGR1 loss-of-function is surprisingly larger than predicted by its effect on the levels of non-HDL-C, which suggests that the atheroprotective effects of del12 mutation go beyond the lowering of serum cholesterol levels. This has shed some light on a new path - the sialylation pathway - possibly leading to a novel therapy that neutralize ASGR1 for heart disease prevention and treatment.

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