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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

General Review Article

PCSK 9: A Link Between Inflammation and Atherosclerosis

Author(s): Dimitri Patriki, Seyed Soheil Saeedi Saravi, Giovanni G. Camici, Luca Liberale and Jürg H. Beer*

Volume 29, Issue 2, 2022

Published on: 07 July, 2021

Page: [251 - 267] Pages: 17

DOI: 10.2174/0929867328666210707192625

Price: $65


Proprotein convertase subtilisin/Kexin 9 (PCSK 9) is revealed to be a key player in lipid metabolism and, therefore, in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. PCSK 9 binds to the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, induces its degradation, and increases circulating blood LDL. As a result, PCSK 9 inhibitors represent an essential pillar in cardiovascular risk reduction therapies due to their highly sufficient LDL decreasing properties. While the influence of PCSK 9 on lipid metabolism has been widely investigated, the full pathophysiological spectrum of PCSK 9 is yet to be determined. Statins have already been demonstrated to have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. In this context, evidence suggests that PCSK 9 also interferes with inflammatory processes, thereby contributing to the development of atherosclerosis. As lipid metabolism on its own affects inflammatory processes, it is difficult to distinguish between lipid-dependent and -independent inflammatory properties of PCSK 9. A body of evidence has revealed that PCSK9 LDL-independently regulates the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammation-underlying pathways in vascular walls, whereas recent observations suggest that PCSK9 also interacts with lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) and dampens inflammatory responses through LDL reduction. In conclusion, this review provides mounting evidence indicating how PCSK9 promotes vascular inflammation and subsequent atherosclerosis to shed light on the anti-inflammatory effects of PCSK9 inhibitors in the prevention of atherosclerosis.

Keywords: PCSK9, inflammation, lipid, LDL, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease.

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