Cell publishes cholesterol research by Song Baoliang’s team
Website news (Correspondent: Yang Xue): On April 9, Cell published the result of research on cholesterol by Prof. Song Baoliang’s team at School of Life Science. The study is aimed at revealing the mechanism of human genetic diseases and improving their treatment. It opens a new direction for the research of intracellular cholesterol research, with important values for basic science and clinical applications.
The paper is titled “Cholesterol transport through lysosome-peroxisome membrane contacts”, with Prof. Song as its correspondent author.
We have been informed that the study has discovered a new route of intracellular cholesterol transport, and a new function of peroxisome, revealing abnormal cholesterol transport as one cause for peroxisome disorders, giving new insights on the treatment of such diseases.
Cholesterol is a type of lipid molecules extremely common in cells. Their highly non-uniform distribution and highly dynamic transportation play an important role in a cell’s life activities. Through careful experimental design and filtering through the full genome, Prof. Song’s team identified over 300 genes related to cholesterol transport, and discovered that lysosomes transport cholesterol to peroxisomes through contacts. They identified the molecules involved in such contacts are respectively Syt7 protein and PI(4,5)P2 phospholipid on the two sides, which explains the molecular mechanism of the exchange.
Deficiencies of peroxisomes would cause peroxisome disorders, manifested as malfunctions in development and nervous system. Presently no effective treatment exists for such disorders. This study revealed that massive cholesterol accumulation is found in the cells of the patients and test mice, which occurs significantly earlier than the nervous symptoms. Researchers asserted that the accumulation of cholesterol is one of the causes of peroxisome disorders.
Prof. Song Baoliang is an outstanding researcher imported by WHU from Biochemical Cell Institute, Shanghai Institute of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and now works as the dean of School of Life Science. He has a long history of research on cholesterol metabolism, and has published one paper on Nature Medicine, and 4 papers on Cell Metabolism as a correspondent author. His prior research revealed the negative feedback regulatory route of cholesterol synthesis, and the molecular mechanism of cholesterol absorption in the small intestine.
(Edited by: Fu Xiaoge)