The Lipoprotein LAB (LLAB) is a dedicated research group committed to advancing the field of pharmaceutics through the application of mechanistic principles governing the functions of lipoproteins and their associated enzymes. By leveraging a deep understanding of how lipoproteins and lipoprotein-modifying enzymes operate within the body, LLAB aims to design cutting-edge pharmaceutical formulations that align with these principles. Currently, the group is engaged in several key research areas that drive their scientific endeavors.
Firstly, LLAB focuses on the production and characterization of therapeutic HDL-mimetic nanodiscs. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) plays a crucial role in cholesterol metabolism and is known to possess antiatherogenic properties. Drawing inspiration from the natural function of HDL, LLAB endeavors to understand how HDL-mimetic nanodiscs, which consist of amphiphilic peptides and phospholipids, interact and promote the activity of key enzymes and transporters involved in HDL metabolism. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of these interactions, LLAB aims to engineer nanodiscs with enhanced therapeutic potential.
Another current area of research for LLAB involves unraveling the mechanistic principles underlying positive allosteric modulators of lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT). LCAT is an enzyme involved in the esterification of cholesterol, a process critical to HDL maturation and function. LLAB seeks to elucidate the intricate mechanisms by which certain molecules act as positive allosteric modulators, thereby augmenting the activity of LCAT. By investigating these mechanisms, LLAB aims to develop novel therapeutic strategies targeting LCAT that could potentially enhance HDL functionality and mitigate the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Furthermore, LLAB is actively engaged in research related to targeted delivery and drug loading of HDL-mimetic nanodiscs. Leveraging their expertise in nanotechnology and lipoprotein biology, LLAB seeks to design innovative approaches to efficiently deliver therapeutic agents to specific tissues or cells. By loading these agents onto HDL-mimetic nanodiscs, LLAB aims to harness the natural targeting capabilities of lipoproteins, thereby enhancing drug efficacy and minimizing potential side effects.
To achieve their research goals, LLAB consists of researchers from diverse disciplines who employ a multifaceted approach combining molecular dynamics simulations with biochemical and biophysical experiments. By conducting parallel studies using computational simulations and biochemical/biophysical experiments, LLAB seeks to uncover new information about the structural and dynamical properties of HDL-mimetic nanodiscs and related therapeutics. These investigations aim to shed light on how these properties affect important factors such as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, paving the way for advancements in lipoprotein-based therapeutics.