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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2006 Mar 1;447(1):87-95. Epub 2006 Jan 11.

Lanosterol biosynthesis in plants.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Rice University, 6100 S. Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, USA.


Plants biosynthesize sterols from cycloartenol using a pathway distinct from the animal and fungal route through lanosterol. Described herein are genome-mining experiments revealing that Arabidopsis encodes, in addition to cycloartenol synthase, an accurate lanosterol synthase (LSS)--the first example of lanosterol synthases cloned from a plant. The coexistence of cycloartenol synthase and lanosterol synthase implies specific roles for both cyclopropyl and conventional sterols in plants. Phylogenetic reconstructions reveal that lanosterol synthases are broadly distributed in eudicots but evolved independently from those in animals and fungi. Novel catalytic motifs establish that plant lanosterol synthases comprise a third catalytically distinct class of lanosterol synthase.

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