The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 6 No.
1 • February 2003
Homocysteine Upregulates 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl Coenzyme
A Reductase in Vascular Endothelial Cells
The statins are a relatively new class of drugs that are
effective in the reduction of cholesterol by inhibiting the rate-limiting
enzyme in the synthesis of cholesterol, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A
reductase. Statins also have a number of other effects, including increasing
endothelial nitric oxide release.
A new study found, by screening human umbilical-vein
endothelial cells with complementary DNA microarray for the gene expression
modified by homocysteine, that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutary coenzyme A reductase
is increased by homocysteine. This, then, appears to be yet another mechanism
by which homocysteine increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, in this
case by increasing the production of cholesterol.
Moreover, some statins have been found to reduce
cardiovascular disease risks more than expected by their effects on cholesterol
alone. Perhaps their interference with homocysteine signaling has something to
do with this.
- Li et al. Homocysteine induces 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl
coenzyme A reductase in vascular endothelial cells. Circulation 105:1037-43