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Link Between Cholesterol & Cancer

Posted Jun 09 2014 10:07pm

A generally established factor for heart disease, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as the “bad” cholesterol.   Thomas Grewal, from the University of Sydney (Australia), and colleagues have identified that LDL cholesterol controls the trafficking of tiny vessels which also contain integrins – molecules that are thought to help cancer cells to metastasize.  Observing that high amounts of 'bad' cholesterol seem to help the integrins in cancer cells to move and spread, the researchers also found that high levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, kept integrins inside cells and may therefore protect against cancer cell spread.  Observing that  malignant cancer cells are known to take up increased amounts of 'bad' LDL cholesterol,” the study authors submit that: “fine-tuning of cholesterol levels at the [trans-Golgi network recycling endosomes] … may play a regulatory role in cell migration and invasion.”

Meritxell Reverter, Carles Rentero, Ana Garcia-Melero, Monira Hoque, Thomas Grewal, Carlos Enrich, et al.  “Cholesterol Regulates Syntaxin 6 Trafficking at trans-Golgi Network Endosomal Boundaries.”  Cell Reports, Volume 7, Issue 3, 8 May 2014, Pages 883-897.

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