For the December edition of the Journal Club hosted by Dr. Oliver Medvedik, we are joined by Dr. Matthew O’ Connor (Oki) formerly of SENS Research Foundation and now the head researcher at Underdog Pharma, a spun-off biotech company that is developing research conducted at SENS into a hopefully viable solution for heart disease.
Dr. O’Connor will be giving a short presentation covering the story of 7-Ketocholesterol, a harmful byproduct of oxidized cholesterol that Underdog believes is a suitable target for therapeautic intervention to prevent the formation of artery plaques, the basis of atherosclerosis. Then, we will review the new paper that his team has published and follow it up with discussion and questions. We will host the show and stream it live on our Facebook page on December 17th at 1pm Eastern.
7-Ketocholesterol (7KC) is a toxic oxysterol that is associated with many diseases and disabilities of aging, as well as several orphan diseases. 7KC is the most common product of a reaction between cholesterol and oxygen radicals and is the most concentrated oxysterol found in the blood and arterial plaques of coronary artery disease patients as well as various other disease tissues and cell types. Unlike cholesterol, 7KC consistently shows cytotoxicity to cells and its physiological function in humans or other complex organisms is unknown. Oxysterols, particularly 7KC, have also been shown to diffuse through membranes where they affect receptor and enzymatic function. Here, we will explore the known and proposed mechanisms of pathologies that are associated with 7KC, as well speculate about the future of 7KC as a diagnostic and therapeutic target in medicine.