Biological Effects of Some Products of Cholesterol Autoxidation

  • Andrew A. Kandutsch


A wide range of C27 to C30 oxysterols, many of which are products of cholesterol autoxi ation, are potent inhibitors of the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-meqy4glutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase in mammalian cells.1–4 Because HMG-CoA reductase is an important regulatory enzyme in the biosynthesis of isoprene units the oxysterols can suppress the biosynthesis of several isoprenoid compounds (Fig. 1). In human beings and other higher animals, cholesterol is the most abundant and most studied product of isoprene metabolism. However, increasingly attention is being given to two other products of the biosynthetic pathway, dolichol and the side chain of coenzyme Q. Dolichol is a lipid carrier for the assembly of a complex oligosaccharide which is then transferred to asparagine residues of nascent glycoproteins. Coenzyme Q serves as an electron carrier in oxidative phosphorylation. Cholesterol serves several different functions in the organism. It is a major component of plasma membranes; it is a precursor for bile acids and steroid hormones and it functions as a structural component of serum lipoproteins. It seems likely that the major features of the feedback regulatory system depicted in Figure 1 evolved primarily to control the synthesis of cholesterol needed for these functions. The detailed mechanisms of this control system are still speculative. However enough is known to provide a rationale for the inhibitory activities of the oxysterols.


Cholesterol Synthesis Sterol Synthesis Autoxidation Product Natural Metabolite Isoprenoid Compound 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew A. Kandutsch
    • 1
  1. 1.The Jackson Laboratory BarHarborUSA

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