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

Effect of squalene synthase inhibition on the expression of hepatic cholesterol biosynthetic enzymes, LDL receptor, and cholesterol 7 alpha hydroxylase.

Squalene synthase catalyzes the committed step in the biosynthesis of sterols. Treating rats with zaragozic acid A, a potent inhibitor of squalene synthase, caused marked increases in hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) synthase, HMG-CoA reductase, squalene synthase, and LDL receptor mRNA levels. The increase in HMG-CoA reductase mRNA fully accounted for the increases seen in enzyme protein and activity. Farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase mRNA and activity were only slightly increased by zaragozic acid A, while cholesterol 7 alpha hydroxylase mRNA levels were decreased substantially. When rats were pretreated with zaragozic acid A, there was no change in mRNA levels for the cholesterol biosynthetic enzymes or cholesterol 7 alpha hydroxylase upon subsequent treatment with mevalonolactone. Under these same conditions, the enzymatic activity of HMG-CoA reductase was also unaffected. Mevalonolactone treatment reduced the zaragozic acid A-mediated increase in hepatic LDL receptor mRNA levels. Feeding cholesterol eliminated the zaragozic acid A-induced increase in HMG-CoA reductase mRNA levels. These results suggest that inhibition of squalene synthase decreases the level of a squalene-derived regulatory product, resulting in altered amounts of several mRNAs and coordinate increases in HMG-CoA reductase mRNA, protein, and activity. The increase in HMG-CoA reductase gene expression was closely related to the degree of inhibition of cholesterol synthesis caused by zaragozic acid A.[1]


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