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By J D Bu'Lock

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P. Carlson, L. Kuehl, and H. C. Rilling, J. biol. , 1974,249, 3746. 38 Biosynthesis compound from enzyme preparations lacking reduced pyridine nucleotides. 5-1 minute) and, while the degree of labelling was considerably lower than that observed in squalene, maximum labelling of the intermediate appeared to coincide with the maximal rate of squalene production. In yeast microsomes, (14) is synthesized more rapidly than squalene, consistent with a precursor-product relationship. The reported copper-catalysed cyclopropanation of olefinic compounds by sulphur y l i d e ~has ~~ led to the suggestion that both cyclopropanation of olefins by S-adenosylmethionine and formation of presqualene pyrophosphate could involve analogous enzymic processes.

Decreased microsomal reductase activity also coincides with increased cholesterol ester content, though the significance of this correlation is still unclear. 14 Eleven compounds proved more potent than cholesterol, the only common structural requirement for activity being the presence of a free 3-hydroxy-group. Ketone functions at C-6, -7,or -25 enhance activity. In fibroblasts which are genetically resistant to repression of this enzyme by cholesterol, activity of keto-sterols was similar to that in normal cells.

C. Johnson and S. N. Shah, Lipids, 1974,9,962. T. J. Scallen, M. V. Srikantaiah, B. Seetharam, E. Hansbury, and K. L. Gavey, Fed. , 1974, 33, 1733. Biosynthesis overall process and, as purification procedures improve, marked specificities of proteins for various steps or sections of the pathway are emerging. ' Its molecular weight is 28000, although dissociation into five or six subunits is observed in 6M-guanidine hydrochloride. The order of addition of reactants which gives best results appears to be initial formation ofa squalene-SCP, complex, in the presence of phosphatidylserine and FAD, followed by binding to the microsomes.

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