The New Found Genetic Factor-KLF4-is Vital for Cardiovascular Health
On Nov. 19 on the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a new finding regarding
cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis and heart disease and one of its genetic roots has been found. These researchers came from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the study was led by Mukesh K. Jain, Ellery Sedgwick and others.
They have carried on the relevant studies for many years. In prior in vitro studies, Jain's research group identified KLF4, a genetic factor that regulates endothelial cells lining, the interior of blood vessels and another genetic factor, KLF2, as agents that promote healthy functioning of the endothelium. And their new study was conducted on mouse models to more precisely determine the role KLF4 plays in preventing atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Over several years, the researchers’ generated mice either had high or low levels of KLF4 in the endothelium. These mice were fed a high-fat diet for five to six months to mimic the unhealthy eating habits seen in much of the industrialized world. And to their surprise, they found that despite the fatty diet, mice with high levels of endothelial KLF4 were protected from developing atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Those lacking KLF4 mice had higher levels of plaque buildup and disease and were less able to prevent harmful cells from damaging blood vessels.
The research confirms that KLF4 is a master regulator of the most cardinal functions of endothelial cells. Their findings indicated that KLF4 prevents blockages from forming in blood vessels and the increased levels of KLF factors allowed endothelial cells to block injury induced by toxins and cytokines.
The main researcher said, “The fact that the level of these genetic factors can be altered in human disease suggests that targeting them may be a viable therapeutic strategy.” Thus they want to increase KLF4 levels by developing new tools to identify related small molecules to modify existing drugs that can boost KLFs levels. For example, the chemical modification of the current statins will create super-statins that are more potent at inducing KLF levels."
The discovery could lead to new therapies for cardiovascular diseases.
Tags: Genetic Factor, KLF4, Cardiovascular