A Family of Intracellular Cholesterol Transport Proteins: Potential Drug Targets for Modulation of Cholesterol Homeostasis and Treatment of Coronary Heart Disease and Assay for Activity

This invention provides for a novel therapeutic target for diseases characterized by defects in cellular cholesterol homeostasis. The inventors have identified a member of a family of proteins that catalyzes the incorporation of cholesterol into cellular membranes. This protein represents a novel target for the development of drugs to treat coronary heart disease and other defects of cholesterol homeostasis. An assay for the protein is also included which could be used for diagnostic and drug discovery purposes.

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. While the use of statins has revolutionized the treatment of coronary heart disease, these drugs inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol but also other products of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, leading to unwanted side effects.

Drugs which targeted this novel pathway would reduce low density lipoproteins (LDLs) in the blood, as do statins, but should not produce the side effects which accompany that class of drugs. Therefore, this invention would be of particular interest to pharmaceutical companies focused on identifying and creating compounds to treat defects in cholesterol homeostasis.

Stage of Development
A provisional patent application has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
This technology is part of an active and ongoing research program. It is available for developmental research support and licensing.

Additional Info
� Debry P et al., (1997) JBC 272: 1026-31
� Angelis GD (2004) Int. J Clin Practice 58: 945-55
� http://metherall.genetics.utah.edu/

Inventor(s): Monica Mallampalli, Darren Warnick, James Metherall

Type of Offer: Licensing

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