Hanyang Med Rev.  2007 Feb;27(1):29-34.

Molecular Genetics of Cholesterol Gallstone Disease; LITH Genes

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Korea. gidrdong@chol.com


Cholesterol gallstone formation is influenced by environmental and genetic factors. Cholesterol gallstone susceptible genes (Lith genes) are complex and show polygenic traits. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis in inbred mice is a powerful method for identifying these genetic defects. More than 20 Lith genes were discovered by QTL in inbred mice models. The co-localized, candidate genes responsible for gallstone susceptible QTL can lead to the discovery of pathophysiologic functions of Lith (gallstone) genes. These genetic studies may reveal novel molecular targets for prevention and medical therapy. Presently, the only effective treament for gallstone is cholecystectomy. In the future, new drugs targeting Lith genes can be available not only for the treatment of gallstone disease, but also for "pre-stone" diagnosis.


Cholesterol gallstones; Molecular genetics; LITH genes
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