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J Biol Chem. 1989 Jan 5;264(1):635-40.

Identification and regulation of a rat liver cDNA encoding farnesyl pyrophosphate synthetase.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


CR39 is a cholesterol-repressible rat liver cDNA previously isolated by differential hybridization (Clarke, C.F., Tanaka, R.D., Svenson, K., Wamsley, M., Fogelman, A.M., and Edwards, P.A. (1987) Mol. Cell. Biol. 7, 3138-3146). To precisely identify the function of CR39 a fusion protein was constructed that contained the amino-terminal region of the bacterial protein anthranilate synthetase fused to the full length CR39 polypeptide. Affinity purified antisera directed against the fusion protein inactivated rat liver cytosolic prenyltransferase activity in vitro. In addition, affinity purified antisera made to purified chicken prenyltransferase cross-reacted with the fusion protein containing CR39. Rat hepatic prenyltransferase activity and enzyme mass were quantitated in animals fed diets or drugs known to alter endogenous cholesterol biosynthesis. Rats fed a diet supplemented with cholestyramine and mevinolin showed a 3.5-fold increase in activity and a 5.0-fold increase in mass of cytosolic prenyltransferase. A diet supplemented with cholesterol resulted in approximately a 4.0-fold decrease in hepatic enzyme activity and a 10-fold decrease in enzyme mass. Under these same dietary regimens the mass of prenyltransferase in the testes remained unchanged. We conclude that CR39 encodes the prenyltransferase of cholesterol biosynthesis, farnesyl pyrophosphate synthetase. Furthermore, in the liver this enzyme shows coordinate regulation with two other enzymes, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase, in response to cholesterol feeding and hypocholesterolemic drugs.

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