Aikaterini N. Tsouka, Constantinos C. Tellis and Alexandros D. Tselepis* Pages 3622 - 3633 ( 12 )
Protein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin type 9 (PCSK9) is a serine protease primarily expressed in the liver, which represents the main source of the plasma enzyme. The best characterized function of PCSK9 relates to the binding to Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor (LDL-R) in hepatocytes, increasing its endosomal and lysosomal degradation. This results in the inhibition of LDL-R recycling to the cell surface and therefore the reduction of the hepatic uptake of LDL, leading to the increase in plasma levels of LDL-cholesterol, a major risk factor of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD). Therefore, PCSK9 is an important therapeutic target to reduce LDLcholesterol levels. PCSK9 inhibition can occur at the level of its interaction with LDL-R as well as at several sites across the pathway of its intracellular synthesis and secretion. Two fully human mAbs, Alirocumab and Evolocumab, that selectively bind to PCSK9 and prevent its interaction with the LDL-R, are currently used in the clinical practice. These mAbs are the most potent cholesterol-lowering agents available today and can decrease LDLcholesterol levels up to 73% while they also reduce the risk of atherosclerotic CVD. Ongoing research has led to the development of new PCSK9 inhibitors through genome editing technology (CRISPR-Cas9), siRNA or antisense oligonucleotide silencing agents, vaccines, mimetic peptides, adnectins, and inhibitors of PCSK9 secretion. The above inhibitors have been studied in vitro, in animal models in vivo, as well as in phase I and II trials and have demonstrated an important efficacy profile. Future studies with these agents will demonstrate their possible clinical value and will further enlighten the various targets and activities of PCSK9 intracellularly and extracellularly, the underlying mechanisms, as well as the clinical significance of these actions beyond the inhibition of LDL-R recycling.
Αlirocumab, antisense oligonucleotides, bococizumab, εvolocumab, inclisiran, LDL-cholesterol, LDL-receptor, monoclonal antibodies, PCSK9, siRNA, vaccines.
Atherothrombosis Research Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Atherothrombosis Research Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Atherothrombosis Research Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina