In search of new targets for plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels: promise of human-mouse comparative genomics.

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Trends Cardiovasc Med 2006 Oct; 16(7):220-34.


Many lines of evidence suggest that raising plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels may inhibit, perhaps even reverse, atherosclerosis. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis has been performed in both humans and mice. So far, approximately 40 high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-regulating QTLs have been identified in each species. To compare human and mouse HDL-C QTLs, we generate human-mouse comparative chromosome maps based on homologous genes in humans and mice. The comparative maps reveal that most human and mouse HDL-C QTLs are concordant, which suggests that identifying the underlying QTL genes in mice will facilitate identifying their homologs in humans. The maps also help to narrow QTLs by mouse-human homologous QTL comparison. By using a combination of classic genetic approaches and newer bioinformatics tools (including comparative genomics as highlighted in this study), identifying new drug targets for plasma HDL-C levels holds more promise than ever.

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