Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Genet Metab. 2011 Nov;104(3):346-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2011.04.019. Epub 2011 May 27.

Alterations in membrane caveolae and BKCa channel activity in skin fibroblasts in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ 08103, USA.


The Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is an inherited disorder of cholesterol synthesis caused by mutations in DHCR7 which encodes the final enzyme in the cholesterol synthesis pathway. The immediate precursor to cholesterol synthesis, 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) accumulates in the plasma and cells of SLOS patients which has led to the idea that the accumulation of abnormal sterols and/or reduction in cholesterol underlies the phenotypic abnormalities of SLOS. We tested the hypothesis that 7-DHC accumulates in membrane caveolae where it disturbs caveolar bilayer structure-function. Membrane caveolae from skin fibroblasts obtained from SLOS patients were isolated and found to accumulate 7-DHC. In caveolar-like model membranes containing 7-DHC, subtle, but complex alterations in intermolecular packing, lipid order and membrane width were observed. In addition, the BK(Ca) K(+) channel, which co-migrates with caveolin-1 in a membrane fraction enriched with cholesterol, was impaired in SLOS cells as reflected by reduced single channel conductance and a 50 mV rightward shift in the channel activation voltage. In addition, a marked decrease in BK(Ca) protein but not mRNA expression levels was seen suggesting post-translational alterations. Accompanying these changes was a reduction in caveolin-1 protein and mRNA levels, but membrane caveolar structure was not altered. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that 7-DHC accumulation in the caveolar membrane results in defective caveolar signaling. However, additional cellular alterations beyond mere changes associated with abnormal sterols in the membrane likely contribute to the pathogenesis of SLOS.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk