Keynote Lecture and other highlights from the Congress, Monday, May 30
"Not how low but how long to lower LDL cholesterol" was the proposal by Professor Michael S. Brown, Paul J. Thomas Professor of Molecular Genetics and Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, USA, during his Keynote Lecture "How genes control cholesterol". The lecture not only provided a look back at the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor story, but also an overview of the role of sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) in regulation of cholesterol homeostasis in the cell, including discussion of SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP), a regulatory protein that is required for the proteolytic cleavage of SREBP.
Read the full Keynote Lecture session report >>
From the Plenary Programme
Monday’s Plenary session ranged from recent elucidation of the ABCG5/G8 membrane transporters that play a key role in maintaining sterol balance, to the possibilities that genomic medicine offers for improving diagnosis and clinical management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Professor Helen Hobbs, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA, overviewed very recent work that has led to structural characterization of the G5/G8 heterodimer.1 This work provides a framework for understanding sterol transport, and the impact of mutations in ABCG5/G8 on coronary artery disease risk. Read more in the Monday session report.
Atherosclerosis is undoubtedly a complex process involving a very large number of genetic loci influencing different pathways. Professor Heribert Schunkert, Deutsches Herzzentrum München, Technische Universität München, Germany, commented that genome-wide association studies, GWAS have provided a critical tool for elucidating common variants with effects on coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, with implications for both established and novel treatment targets. Read more in the Monday session report.
From the Workshop programme
Monday also provided new insights into novel therapies and Professor Steve Nicholls, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, questioned whether CETP inhibition is still a viable therapeutic strategy. Read more in the Monday session report and listen to the interview with Professor Nicholls.
Interview with Professor Nicholls held at the congress >>
Antoher key question that was focused on during Monday was "Cardiovascular risk: is it the same in men and women? The joint European Society of Cardiology/EAS session focused on this, while findings from the EUROASPIRE survey4 highlight differences in the prevalence of risk factors between the sexes, notably smoking, hypertension and obesity, clinical practice does not sufficiently taken gender into consideration.
Read more in the Monday sessions report >>