Research on cholesterol metabolism in macrophages has progressed

New progress in the study of cholesterol metabolism in macrophages Courtesy of Shandong University

Recently, the team of Professor Ma Chunhong of the School of Basic Medicine of Shandong University published research results in the journal Cell Communications, revealing a new mechanism of macrophage cholesterol homeostasis regulation and antiviral innate immune response.

According to reports, viral infection is closely related to host cell cholesterol homeostasis. Cholesterol is involved in the process of virus invasion, decoating, replication, assembly and release, and intervention in host cholesterol metabolism has become a promising antiviral treatment strategy. The immune checkpoint Tim-4 is one of the key molecules for maintaining macrophage homeostasis.

The study found that Tim-4 inhibits the interaction between Insig1-SCAP by binding Insig1 and SCAP, promotes SREBP2 activation and de novo cholesterol synthesis, and then inhibits type I interferon pathway and antiviral response.

This study identifies Tim-4 as a regulator of macrophage cholesterol synthesis and antiviral innate immune response, providing a new target for the intervention of viral infection and cholesterol homeostasis-related diseases.

Ma Chunhong’s team has long been committed to basic and translational medicine research on diseases such as immune metabolism and viral infections. This research work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the General Project, the Major Project of the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province, and the National Key R&D Program. (Source: China Science News, Liao Yang, Che Huiqing)

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