In their research that resulted in the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985, Drs. Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein studied fibroblasts from people affected with a familial form of hypercholesterolemia that followed an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. They discovered extremely high activity of HMG Co-A reductase, an enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis. They concluded that disruption of an unknown gene had removed a normal feedback mechanism that inhibited the enzyme. Further research revealed that the mutated gene coded for a receptor that binds low-density lipoprotein and draws it into cells.
Their partnership has lasted over 40 years and continues today in the Brown/Goldstein Lab.