Goedeke, Leigh Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York.
- Classical regulation of cellular cholesterol homeostasis
- MicroRNAs and lipid metabolism
- Regulation of cholesterol homeostasis by miR-33
- Concluding remarks
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The metabolism of cholesterol, an essential component of many biochemical pathways, is tightly regulated at the cellular level. Insufficient or excess cholesterol levels can be detrimental to cells and are associated with disease states such as atherosclerosis (the hardening of arteries). Many regulatory mechanisms exist to ensure that cholesterol levels are balanced. In particular, recent findings have revealed that small noncoding RNAs (microRNAs) have a crucial role in the posttranscriptional control of cholesterol- and lipoprotein-related genes. Of note is microRNA-33 (miR-33), which is an intronic microRNA (miRNA) located within a sterol regulatory element–binding protein (SREBP) gene, one of the master regulators of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. MicroRNA-33 regulates cholesterol efflux and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) formation in concert with the SREBP host genes, suggesting an important role for miRNAs in the epigenetic regulation of cholesterol metabolism and highlighting the clinical potential of miRNAs as novel therapeutic targets in treating cardiovascular-related diseases.
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