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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Researchers in China have discovered a protein that regulates the uptake of dietary cholesterol in the gut, and which might serve as a drug target to keep blood cholesterol levels in check and prevent heart disease.

A truncated version of the protein, called LIMA1, has led to unusually low levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and reduced cholesterol absorption in a family of Chinese Kazahks, the researchers found, and additional experiments in mice further explored the molecular role of LIMA1.

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