HDL Function Project
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) particles are protective particles that have important functions in the body. HDL play a key role in protecting against heart disease via their role in reverse cholesterol transport, or the transport of excess cholesterol out of the body. HDL are also part of the innate immune system due to their ability to bind a number of toxic substances in the blood. In fact, HDL are used as a therapy against sepsis, a deadly blood-borne infection, based on the observation that individuals with high HDL tend to survive sepsis whereas individuals with low HDL have a higher mortality in this condition. HDL particles are self-assembling lipid particles that can be synthesized from a variety of combinations of lipids along with different subsets of HDL-associated proteins that confer different functions. These synthetic HDL particles are often referred to as reconstituted HDL or rHDL. The aims of the HDL Function Project are to develop novel rHDL particles and assessment platforms that can evaluate the specific functions of the designed rHDL. The long-term goal is the development of therapeutic HDL that can be used to treat a variety of conditions and diseases.