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

Farnesol-derived dicarboxylic acids in the urine of animals treated with zaragozic acid A or with farnesol.

Farnesyl diphosphate, the substrate for squalene synthase, accumulates in the presence of zaragozic acid A, a squalene synthase inhibitor. A possible metabolic fate for farnesyl diphosphate is its conversion to farnesol, then to farnesoic acid, and finally to farnesol-derived dicarboxylic acids (FDDCAs) which would then be excreted in the urine. Seven dicarboxylic acids were isolated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) from urine of either rats or dogs treated with zaragozic acid A or rats fed farnesol. Their structures were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. Two 12-carbon, four 10-carbon, and one 7-carbon FDDCA were identified. The profile of urinary dicarboxylic acids from rats fed farnesol was virtually identical to that produced by treating with zaragozic acid A, establishing that these dicarboxylic acids are farnesol-derived. By feeding [1-14C]farnesol and comparing the mass of the dicarboxylic acids produced with the ultraviolet absorption of the HPLC peaks, a method to quantitate the ultraviolet-absorbing FDDCAs was devised. When rats were treated with zaragozic acid A, large amounts of FDDCAs were excreted in the urine. The high level of FDDCAs that were found suggests that their synthesis is the major metabolic fate for carbon diverted from cholesterol synthesis by a squalene synthase inhibitor. A metabolic pathway is proposed to explain the production of each of these FDDCAs.[1]


  1. Farnesol-derived dicarboxylic acids in the urine of animals treated with zaragozic acid A or with farnesol. Bostedor, R.G., Karkas, J.D., Arison, B.H., Bansal, V.S., Vaidya, S., Germershausen, J.I., Kurtz, M.M., Bergstrom, J.D. J. Biol. Chem. (1997) [Pubmed]
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