Biochemical and genetic aspects of 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase and Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome.
ABSTRACT In recent years, several inherited human disorders caused by defects in cholesterol biosynthesis have been identified. These are characterized by malformations, multiple congenital anomalies, mental and growth retardation and/or skeletal and skin abnormalities indicating a pivotal role of cholesterol in morphogenesis and embryonic development. The first recognized and most common of these developmental disorders is Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, an autosomal recessive trait caused by mutations in the DHCR7 gene resulting in a deficiency of the encoded sterol Delta(7)-reductase, alternatively called 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (EC 18.104.22.168). This enzyme catalyzes the final step in cholesterol biosynthesis, which is the reduction of the Delta(7) double bond of 7-dehydrocholesterol to produce cholesterol.
Article: Differential effects of cholesterol and its immediate biosynthetic precursors on membrane organization.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cholesterol is the most representative sterol present in vertebrate membranes and is the end product of the long and multistep sterol biosynthetic pathway. 7-Dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) and desmosterol are the immediate biosynthetic precursors of cholesterol in the Kandutsch-Russell and Bloch pathway. In this article, we have monitored the effect of cholesterol and its two immediate biosynthetic precursors on biophysical and dynamic properties of fluid and gel phase membranes. Toward this goal, we have used fluorescent membrane probes, DPH and TMA-DPH, and the hydrophobic probe, pyrene. Our results using these probes show that although both 7-DHC and desmosterol differ with cholesterol in one double bond, they exhibit differential effects on membrane organization and dynamics. Importantly, we show that the effect of cholesterol and desmosterol on membrane organization and dynamics is similar in most cases, while 7-DHC has a considerably different effect. This demonstrates that the position of the double bond in sterols is an important determinant in maintaining membrane order and dynamics. These results assume relevance since the accumulation of cholesterol precursors have been reported to result in severe pathological conditions.Biochemistry 06/2008; 47(20):5668-77. · 3.42 Impact Factor
Article: Dynamics and heterogeneity of bovine hippocampal membranes: role of cholesterol and proteins.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The structural and dynamic consequence of alterations in membrane lipid composition (specifically cholesterol) in neuronal membranes is poorly understood. Previous work from our laboratory has established bovine hippocampal membranes as a convenient natural source for studying neuronal receptors. In this paper, we have explored the role of cholesterol and proteins in the dynamics and heterogeneity of bovine hippocampal membranes using fluorescence lifetime distribution analysis of the environment-sensitive fluorescent probe Nile Red incorporated into such membranes by the maximum entropy method (MEM), and time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy measurements. The peak position and the width of the lifetime distribution of Nile Red show a progressive reduction with increasing cholesterol depletion from native hippocampal membranes indicating that the extent of heterogeneity decreases with decrease in membrane cholesterol content. This is accompanied by a concomitant decrease of the fluorescence anisotropy and rotational correlation time. Our results point out that the microenvironment experienced by Nile Red is relatively insensitive to the presence of proteins in hippocampal membranes. Interestingly, Nile Red lifetime distribution in liposomes of lipid extracts is similar to that of native membranes indicating that proteins do not contribute significantly to the high level of heterogeneity observed in native membranes. These results could be relevant in understanding the neuronal diseases characterized by defective membrane lipid metabolism.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2007; 1768(9):2130-44. · 4.66 Impact Factor
Article: Differential effects of cholesterol and 7-dehydrocholesterol on the ligand binding activity of the hippocampal serotonin(1A) receptor: implications in SLOS.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The requirement of membrane cholesterol in maintaining ligand binding activity of the hippocampal serotonin(1A) receptor has previously been demonstrated. In order to test the stringency of the requirement of cholesterol, we depleted cholesterol from native hippocampal membranes followed by replenishment with 7-dehydrocholesterol. The latter sterol is an immediate biosynthetic precursor of cholesterol differing only in a double bond at the 7th position in the sterol ring. Our results show, for the first time, that replenishment with 7-dehydrocholesterol does not restore ligand binding activity of the serotonin(1A) receptor, in spite of recovery of the overall membrane order. The requirement for restoration of ligand binding activity therefore is more stringent than the requirement for the recovery of overall membrane order. These novel results have potential implications in understanding the interaction of membrane lipids with this important neuronal receptor under pathogenic conditions such as the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2007; 358(2):495-9. · 2.48 Impact Factor