Increased nonsterol isoprenoids, dolichol and ubiquinone, in the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome: Effects of dietary cholesterol

Anuradha S. Pappu, William E. Connor, Louise S. Merkens, Julia M. Jordan, Jennifer A. Penfield, D. Roger Illingworth, Robert D. Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is an inherited autosomal recessive cholesterol deficiency disorder. Our studies have shown that in SLOS children, urinary mevalonate excretion is normal and reflects hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity but not ultimate sterol synthesis. Hence, we hypothesized that in SLOS there may be increased diversion of mevalonate to nonsterol isoprenoid synthesis. To test our hypothesis, we measured urinary dolichol and ubiquinone, two nonsterol isoprenoids, in 16 children with SLOS and 15 controls, all fed a low-cholesterol diet. The urinary excretion of both dolichol (P < 0.002) and ubiquinone (P < 0.02) in SLOS children was 7-fold higher than in control children, whereas mevalonate excretion was comparable. In a subset of 12 SLOS children, a high-cholesterol diet decreased urinary mevalonate excretion by 61% (P < 0.001), dolichol by 70% (P < 0.001), and ubiquinone by 67% (P < 0.03). Our hypothesis that in SLOS children, normal urinary mevalonate excretion results from increased diversion of mevalonate into the production of nonsterol isoprenoids is supported. Dietary cholesterol supplementation reduced urinary mevalonate and nonsterol isoprenoid excretion but did not change the relative ratios of their excretion. Therefore, in SLOS, a secondary peripheral regulation of isoprenoid synthesis may be stimulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2789-2798
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • 24 hour urine
  • 7-dehydrocholesterol
  • Farnesyl pyrophosphate
  • Mevalonate
  • Sterols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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