ARTICLE | Cover Story

Cholesterol metabolism ADds up

February 25, 2010 8:00 AM UTC

Reports by independent teams at Dartmouth College and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University suggest that blocking production and transport of cholesteryl esters, the extracellular form of cholesterol, could be useful for treating Alzheimer's disease.1,2 The findings reveal two cholesteryl ester metabolism enzymes, ACAT1 and CETP, as potential AD targets and could represent a repurposing opportunity for a quartet of pharma companies that have studied the enzymes in the cardiovascular space.

Cholesteryl esters consist of interlinked molecules of cholesterol and are the primary form of cholesterol in the plasma membrane and outside the cell. Cholesteryl esters are made in the endoplasmic reticulum by sterol O-acyltransferase 1 (SOAT1; ACAT1)...