DeW. S. Goodman, M.D.
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Recent studies on cholesterol biosynthesis have defined almost the entire reaction sequence. Three molecules of acetate first combine to form the key 6-carbon intermediate, mevalonic acid. Decarboxylation of mevalonic acid provides a 5-carbon isoprenoid intermediate, 3 molecules of which join to form the 15-carbon farnesyl pyrophosphate. Two molecules of this then combine to form the 30-carbon hydrocarbon squalene. The reaction mechanism of squalene formation is most unusual and without any known biochemical counterpart. During this reaction 1 hydrogen atom attached to carbon 1 of 1 of the 2 molecules of farnesyl pyrophosphate is exchanged for a hydrogen atom from TPNH.
Goodman DS. Cholesterol Biosynthesis and Metabolism.. Ann Intern Med. ;58:717–718. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-58-4-717_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1963;58(4):717-718.
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