The influence of Lipid Transfer Protein I on the binding and transfer of Cyclosporine A between lipoproteins

Mona Kwong’s research focuses on gaining a better understanding of how the body responds to drugs whose molecular structure is similar to that of lipids (fatty, waxy or oily compounds that are major structural components of living cells). Mona is studying cyclosporine, a drug with a lipid-like structure that is used primarily to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients. One of the major potential complications of cyclosporine is that it can behave differently from one patient to the next. For example, a dosage that works for one person may cause toxicity in another. Previous studies have shown a link between patients’ cholesterol levels and their toxicity with the use of cyclosporine. Mona hopes to determine whether lipid transfer protein I and a protein that transports lipids such as cholesterol and is also involved in binding and transporting cyclosporine. A better understanding of this mechanism and the factors that affect it will help provide an explanation for the differences and inconsistencies seen in patients taking cyclosporine. Clinicians could then measure different cholesterol levels in patients, predict the level of cyclosporine that would cause toxicity, and adjust the dosage to prevent adverse side effects