Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) plays a major role in the regulation of lipoprotein metabolism, mostly through control of low-density lipoprotein receptor degradation. Depletion of cellular cholesterol causes a compensatory increase in plasma PCSK9 levels, which can diminish the cholesterol-lowering power of statins and may lead to the overproduction of intestinal lipoproteins, mainly thorough the up regulation of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein and the Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 protein, the target of ezetimibe. Thus, ezetimibe therapy may counter this unwanted effect of statins, providing an additional theoretical rationale for combining the effect of ezetimibe on intestinal cholesterol absorption and that of statins on cholesterol synthesis.
- LDL receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine