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3beta-hydroxysterol Delta7-reductase and the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome.

Unit on Molecular Dysmorphology, Heritable Disorders Branch, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 2.83). 03/2005; 84(2):112-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2004.09.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the final step of cholesterol synthesis, 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7) reduces the double bond at C7-8 of 7-dehydrocholesterol to yield cholesterol. Mutations of DHCR7 cause Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS). Over 100 different mutations of DHCR7 have been identified in SLOS patients. SLOS is a classical multiple malformation, mental retardation syndrome, and was the first human malformation syndrome shown to result from an inborn error of cholesterol synthesis. This paper reviews the biochemical, molecular, and mutational aspects of DHCR7.

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    ABSTRACT: Smith–Lemli–Opitz Syndrome (SLOS) is a congenital, autosomal recessive metabolic and developmental disorder caused by mutations in the enzyme which catalyzes the reduction of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) to cholesterol. Herein we show that dermal fibroblasts obtained from SLOS children display increased basal levels of LC3B-II, the hallmark protein signifying increased autophagy. The elevated LC3B-II is accompanied by increased beclin-1 and cellular autophagosome content. We also show that the LC3B-II concentration in SLOS cells is directly proportional to the cellular concentration of 7DHC, suggesting that the increased autophagy is caused by 7DHC accumulation secondary to defective DHCR7. Further, the increased basal LC3B-II levels were decreased significantly by pretreating the cells with antioxidants implicating a role for oxidative stress in elevating autophagy in SLOS cells. Considering the possible source of oxidative stress, we examined mitochondrial function in the SLOS cells using JC-1 assay and found significant mitochondrial dysfunction compared to mitochondria in control cells. In addition, the levels of PINK1 which targets dysfunctional mitochondria for removal by the autophagic pathway are elevated in SLOS cells, consistent with mitochondrial dysfunction as a stimulant of mitophagy in SLOS. This suggests that the increase in autophagic activity may be protective, i.e., to remove dysfunctional mitochondria. Taken together, these studies are consistent with a role for mitochondrial dysfunction leading to increased autophagy in SLOS pathophysiology.
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