16. May 2018

New research from CCG: glucose controls a cell’s absorption of bad cholesterol

New research from the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics (CCG) shows for the first time how a cell’s ability to absorb the bad cholesterol LDL is controlled by glucose. The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on May 11.

Assistant Professor Katrine Schjoldager and head of center Henrik Clausen, from the Center for Glycomics (CCG) at the University of Copenhagen, together with researchers from Aarhus University, Rigshospitalet, Canada and Spain, has proven that glucose controls a cell’s absorption of bad cholesterol.

The amount of bad cholesterol – also known as LDL – in our bodies increases when we eat fatty foods. Since bad cholesterol is connected to fat deposits in the blood vessels, the body tries to get rid of the cholesterol by absorbing it into the cells instead.

The detox process happens when receptors create passages to the cells. This is where Schjoldager and the rest of the research team have found that glucose enhances the receptors’ – and thereby the cell’s – ability to absorb bad cholesterol up to five times.

Katrine Schjoldager.
Katrine Schjoldager (Photo: University of Copenhagen)

”We have always known that the cell’s receptors has played an important role in relation to how much cholesterol one cell can absorb. But as something brand new, we have found that the glucose that is placed on the receptor has a determining function. Without the glucose, the cell’s ability to obtain cholesterol is worsened. In that way, we have mapped the sugar’s value for an important mechanism in our physiology, which in the future can increase our understanding of the processes that lead to increased cholesterol and diseases such as kidney diseases or neurodegenerative illnesses,” Schjoldager explained.

The study was published in the May 11 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The Copenhagen Center for Glycomics invites leading experts from across the world to a symposium on glucose and medicine at SUND from August 27 to 30, 2018.

Read more about the research results and the CCG here (In Danish)

The scientific publication can be found in the Journal of Biological Chemistry here

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