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Arteriosclerosis. 1985 May-Jun;5(3):213-27.

Molecular biology in arteriosclerosis research.


The topics discussed in this article illustrate how molecular biology will have a dramatic impact on arteriosclerosis research. DNA clones for a small number of relevant proteins have been isolated, and studies are underway in numerous laboratories to extend these initial studies. The techniques of molecular biology will provide major advances in our understanding of numerous proteins directly or indirectly involved in the atherogenic process. Cloning technology will solve the primary structures of many proteins that can not be purified in quantities sufficient for classical methods of analysis. Studies of regulation will benefit from the availability of DNA probes, the ability to generate site-directed antibodies, and the use of reverse genetics to identify nucleic acid sequences involved in the regulation of gene expression. Studies of gene structure and genetic polymorphisms will unravel the genetic basis for defects in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism and should provide valuable reagents for clinical screening and diagnosis. The reverse genetics approach will permit the systematic analysis of structure-function relationships at the protein level in a manner not previously possible. Each of these will contribute to our understanding of the atherogenic process and should provide insight into ways of preventing and treating arteriosclerosis.

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