The impact of Niacin on PCSK9 levels in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops)
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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as ischaemic heart diseases, heart failure and stroke remain a major cause of death globally. Various deep-rooted factors influence CVD development; these include but are not limited to elevated blood lipids, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. A considerable number of proteins are involved directly and indirectly in the transport, maintenance and elimination of plasma lipids, including high and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C and LDL-C). There are several mechanisms involved in the removal of LDL particles from systemic circulation. One such mechanism is associated with the gene that encodes proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), which has become an exciting therapeutic target for the reduction of residual risk of CVDs. Currently, statins are the mainstay treatment to reduce LDL-C, and a need exists to further develop more effective LDL-C-lowering drugs that might supplement statins.