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1.  Genetic Polymorphisms in LDLR, APOB, PCSK9 and Other Lipid Related Genes Associated with Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Malaysia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60729.
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by elevations in total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc). Development of FH can result in the increase of risk for premature cardiovascular diseases (CVD). FH is primarily caused by genetic variations in Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor (LDLR), Apolipoprotein B (APOB) or Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin type 9 (PCSK9) genes. Although FH has been extensively studied in the Caucasian population, there are limited reports of FH mutations in the Asian population. We investigated the association of previously reported genetic variants that are involved in lipid regulation in our study cohort. A total of 1536 polymorphisms previously implicated in FH were evaluated in 141 consecutive patients with clinical FH (defined by the Dutch Lipid Clinic Network criteria) and 111 unrelated control subjects without FH using high throughput microarray genotyping platform. Fourteen Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) were found to be significantly associated with FH, eleven with increased FH risk and three with decreased FH risk. Of the eleven SNPs associated with an increased risk of FH, only one SNP was found in the LDLR gene, seven in the APOB gene and three in the PCSK9 gene. SNP rs12720762 in APOB gene is associated with the highest risk of FH (odds ratio 14.78, p<0.001). Amongst the FH cases, 108 out of 141 (76.60%) have had at least one significant risk-associated SNP. Our study adds new information and knowledge on the genetic polymorphisms amongst Asians with FH, which may serve as potential markers in risk prediction and disease management.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060729
PMCID: PMC3620484  PMID: 23593297
2.  α-Mangostin from Cratoxylum arborescens (Vahl) Blume Demonstrates Anti-Ulcerogenic Property: A Mechanistic Study 
Cratoxylum arborescens (Vahl) Blume is an Asian herbal medicine with versatile ethnobiological properties including treatment of gastric ulcer. This study evaluated the antiulcerogenic mechanism(s) of α-mangostin (AM) in a rat model of ulcer. AM is a prenylated xanthone derived through biologically guided fractionation of C. arborescens. Rats were orally pretreated with AM and subsequently exposed to acute gastric lesions induced by ethanol. Following treatment, ulcer index, gastric juice acidity, mucus content, histological and immunohistochemical analyses, glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), and nonprotein sulfhydryl groups (NP-SH) were evaluated. The anti-Helicobacter pylori, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitory effect, and antioxidant activity of AM were also investigated in vitro. AM (10 and 30 mg/kg) inhibited significantly (P < 0.05) ethanol-induced gastric lesions by 66.04% and 74.39 %, respectively. The compound induces the expression of Hsp70, restores GSH levels, decreases lipid peroxidation, and inhibits COX-2 activity. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of AM showed an effective in vitro anti-H. pylori activity. The efficacy of the AM was accomplished safely without presenting any toxicological parameters. The results of the present study indicate that the antioxidant properties and the potent anti-H. pylori, in addition to activation of Hsp70 protein, may contribute to the gastroprotective activity of α-mangostin.
doi:10.1155/2013/450840
PMCID: PMC3619625  PMID: 23634169

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