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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Jul;1761(7):677-85. Epub 2006 May 19.

Sterol dependent regulation of human TM7SF2 gene expression: role of the encoded 3beta-hydroxysterol Delta14-reductase in human cholesterol biosynthesis.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Laboratory of Biochemistry, University of Perugia, Via del Giochetto, 06122 Perugia, Italy.


3Beta-hydroxysterol Delta(14)-reductase operates during the conversion of lanosterol to cholesterol in mammalian cells. Besides the endoplasmic reticulum 3beta-hydroxysterol Delta(14)-reductase (C14SR) encoded by TM7SF2 gene, the lamin B receptor (LBR) of the inner nuclear membrane possesses 3beta-hydroxysterol Delta(14)-reductase activity, based on its ability to complement C14SR-defective yeast strains. LBR was indicated as the primary 3beta-hydroxysterol Delta(14)-reductase in human cholesterol biosynthesis, since mutations in LBR gene were found in Greenberg skeletal dysplasia, characterized by accumulation of Delta(14)-unsaturated sterols. This study addresses the issue of C14SR and LBR role in cholesterol biosynthesis. Both human C14SR and LBR expressed in COS-1 cells exhibit 3beta-hydroxysterol Delta(14)-reductase activity in vitro. TM7SF2 mRNA and C14SR protein expression in HepG2 cells grown in delipidated serum (LPDS) plus lovastatin (sterol starvation) were 4- and 8-fold higher, respectively, than in LPDS plus 25-hydroxycholesterol (sterol feeding), resulting in 4-fold higher 3beta-hydroxysterol Delta(14)-reductase activity. No variations in LBR mRNA and protein levels were detected in the same conditions. The induction of TM7SF2 gene expression is turned-on by promoter activation in response to low cell sterol levels and is mediated by SREBP-2. The results suggest a primary role of C14SR in human cholesterol biosynthesis, whereas LBR role in the pathway remains unclear.

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