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SSHD molecules



The gene APOA1 plays an important role in removal of cholesterol and production of HDL also known as good cholesterol, to keep the heart healthy and avoid heart disease. The SSHD-APA1 molecule increases the gene expression of APOA1 gene.

What does the APOA1 gene do?

There are a number of different types of lipoprotein. High density lipoprotein (HDL), of which APOA1 is the main component lipoprotein, has been shown to protect against atherosclerotic heart disease. By contrast, low density lipoprotein (LDL) especially in its oxidised form, as well as elevated cholesterol levels, have been clearly shown to play a major role in development of atherosclerotic heart disease and early death, see within [1].

The importance of the protective effect of the product of the APOA1 gene with respect to heart disease has been confirmed. It does this by increasing the level of the highly beneficial HDL. HDL also has other important properties such as limiting the damaging effects of inflammation [1].

Because if the important health promoting properties of APOA1, many pharmacotherapeutic approaches are being investigated with a view to increasing levels of APOA1 (1). Scientists have discovered that increased expression of APOA1 also plays an important role in removing cholesterol [2], and may be considered as an alternative to the use of statins in this regard. APOA1 lowers cholesterol by a process called reverse transport of cholesterol [3].

Interestingly, homocysteine, a highly toxic non-protein amino acid, reduces the concentration of HDL in blood by inhibiting the hepatic synthesis of APOA1, so increased expression of APOA1 is beneficial in those with elevated homocysteine levels [4].


  1. deGoma Novel HDL-directed pharmacotherapeutic strategies. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2011, 8, 266.
  2. Zhang et al., Overexpression of apolipoprotein A-I promotes reverse transport of cholesterol from macrophages to feces in vivo. Circulation. 2003, 108, 661.
  3. Tall, An overview of reverse cholesterol transport. Eur Heart J. 1998,19, Suppl A:A31.
  4. Barter and Rye. Homocysteine and Cardiovascular Disease Is HDL the Link? Circulation Research.2006, 99: 565.

Want to know more?

For more information about this SSHD molecule, contact your healthcare practitioner or arrange an appointment using our clinic.

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