Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9, also known as PCSK9, is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the PCSK9 gene. Similar genes (orthologs) are found across many species. Many enzymes are inactive when they are first synthesized, because they have a section of peptide chains that blocks their activity. Proprotein convertases remove that section to activate the enzyme. PCSK9 has medical significance because it acts in cholesterol synthesis. Drugs that block PCSK9 can lower cholesterol, and are beginning Phase III clinical trials to see if they can actually improve outcomes in heart disease .
- Review the basic principles PCSK9 activity
- Review the clinical PCSK9 modulation in the lipid metabolism
- Review the potential for PCSK9 modulation as a potential drug target for therapy
Dr. Verma currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Atherosclerosis and oversees or collaborates on multiple ongoing local and national research projects in the basic, translational and clinical sciences. These diverse studies all pivot around the central theme of vascular biology, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, atherosclerosis and cardiac function, several of which bridge multiple disciplines (eg. nephrology to vascular biology, cardiac function to cancer) and/or focus on health issues with cross-cultural implications and applications.