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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase by hepatic 7 alpha-hydroxylated bile acid flux and newly synthesized cholesterol supply.

We measured hepatic cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity, mass, and catalytic efficiency (activity/unit mass) in bile fistula rats infused intraduodenally with taurocholate and its 7 beta-hydroxy epimer, tauroursocholate, with or without mevalonolactone to supply newly synthesized cholesterol. Enzyme activity was measured by an isotope incorporation assay and enzyme mass by densitometric scanning of immunoblots using rabbit anti-rat liver cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase antisera. Cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity increased 6-fold, enzyme mass 34%, and catalytic efficiency 5-fold after interruption of the enterohepatic circulation for 48 h. When taurocholate was infused to the bile acid-depleted animals at a rate equivalent to the hepatic bile acid flux (27 mumol/100-g rat/h), cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity and enzyme mass declined 60 and 61%, respectively. Tauroursocholate did not significantly decrease cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity, mass and catalytic efficiency. The administration of mevalonolactone, which is converted to cholesterol, modestly increased cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity and enzyme mass in the bile acid-depleted rats. However, when taurocholate was infused together with mevalonolactone, cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity and catalytic efficiency were markedly depressed while enzyme mass did not change as compared with bile acid-depleted rats. These results show that (a) hepatic bile acid depletion increases bile acid synthesis mainly by activating cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase with only a small rise in enzyme mass, (b) replacement with taurocholate for 24 h decreases both cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity and mass proportionally, (c) when cholesterol is available (mevalonolactone supplementation), the infusion of taurocholate results in the formation of a catalytically less active cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase, and (d) tauroursocholate, the 7 beta-hydroxy epimer of taurocholate, does not inhibit cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase. Thus, bile acid synthesis is modulated by the catalytic efficiency and mass of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase. The enterohepatic flux of 7 alpha-hydroxylated bile acids and the formation of hepatic cholesterol apparently control cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase by different mechanisms.[1]


  1. Regulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase by hepatic 7 alpha-hydroxylated bile acid flux and newly synthesized cholesterol supply. Shefer, S., Nguyen, L.B., Salen, G., Ness, G.C., Tint, G.S., Batta, A.K., Hauser, S., Rani, I. J. Biol. Chem. (1991) [Pubmed]
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