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Targeting new receptors for lipoprotein(a)

48 months
Approved budget:
Professor Sally McCormick
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Twenty percent of people have high plasma levels of a form of cholesterol called 'Lp(a)' which predisposes them to heart attacks. Lp(a) consists of a low-density lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as the 'bad cholesterol' particle, with an additional protein called 'apo(a)' attached to it. Much is known about how Lp(a) causes heart attacks but less is known about how it is cleared from the blood. We recently discovered a new clearance pathway for Lp(a) that operates via a plasminogen receptor called 'PlgRKT'. This pathway leads to Lp(a) uptake by liver cells. Our research aims to characterise the newly identified Lp(a) uptake pathway and establish its importance for regulating Lp(a) levels in vivo. We will interrogate the pathway to find ways of manipulating it. Our research will generate new knowledge about Lp(a) and plasminogen receptors and will lay the foundation for developing novel Lp(a)-lowering therapies.