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Heart disease remains by far the major cause of morbidity and mortality in the US and other Western countries. Effective treatments for coronary artery disease (CAD) include statins and blood pressure medications. However, therapies involving different treatment strategies are needed to enhance clinical outcomes for heart disease patients. Researchers at UCLA have identified a 5-Lipoxygenase (5LO) as a possible target for pharmaceutical intervention in CAD. The gene may further be used as a genetic diagnosis of individuals with predispositions to CAD.

Effective inhibitors of 5LO have been marketed for a different indication. The gene's involvement in heart disease enables manufacturers of the mentioned inhibitors to extend their markets to heart disease indications. In addition, 5LO expression profile may be monitored in screenings for CAD drugs candidates.

Results of the study indicated that 5LO is involved in susceptibility to both diabetes and CAD. UCLA researchers also demonstrated that certain forms of the 5LO gene are found in CAD patients twice as often as they are in control subjects. These results suggest that genetic variation in the 5LO gene contributes to CAD-related traits in the human population, with deleted alleles predisposing individuals to CAD and diabetes.

The association between 5LO and CAD provides substantial diagnostic values since there hasn't been a genetic marker that reliably predicts an individual's susceptibility to heart disease. Thus, identification of individuals who are carriers of deleted alleles would serve as a beneficial and powerful screening test in the general population or for those who are already at risk for developing CAD. This screening technique may further help stratify patients who will benefit from therapeutic interventions involving 5LO. A diagnostic test that differentiates a normal individual versus an individual carrying a 5LO deletion has also been developed by the researchers.

Related Papers (Selected)
  • Lusis, A. Identification of 5-Lipoxygenase as a Major Gene Contributing to Atherosclerosis Susceptibility in Mice. Circulation Research. Vol 91. Pages 120-126. [more...]

  • Reference: UCLA Case No. 2001-429 PCT Publication Number: WO 03/035670 A2

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    Lead Inventor: Aldons Lusis

    UCLA Technologies Available for Licensing

    Copyright © 2002 The Regents of the University of California.

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