Biological activities of 7-dehydrocholesterol-derived oxysterols: implications for Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a metabolic and developmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the enzyme 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (Dhcr7). This reductase catalyzes the last step in cholesterol biosynthesis, and levels of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), the substrate for this enzyme, are elevated in SLOS patients as a result of this defect. Our group has previously shown that 7-DHC is extremely prone to free radical autoxidation, and we identified about a dozen different oxysterols formed from oxidation of 7-DHC. We report here that 7-DHC-derived oxysterols reduce cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner, some of the compounds showing activity at sub-micromolar concentrations. The reduction of cell survival is caused by a combination of reduced proliferation and induced differentiation of the Neuro2a cells. The complex 7-DHC oxysterol mixture added to control Neuro2a cells also triggers the gene expression changes that were previously identified in Dhcr7-deficient Neuro2a cells. Based on the identification of overlapping gene expression changes in Dhcr7-deficient and 7-DHC oxysterol-treated Neuro2a cells, we hypothesize that some of the pathophysiological findings in the mouse SLOS model and SLOS patients might be due to accumulated 7-DHC oxysterols.
Project description:Recent studies suggest that 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC)-derived oxysterols play important roles in the pathophysiology of Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS), a metabolic disorder that is caused by defective 3?-hydroxysterol-?(7)-reductase (DHCR7). Although 14 oxysterols have been identified as the primary products of 7-DHC autoxidation in organic solution, the metabolic fate of these oxysterols in a biological environment has not yet been elucidated. Therefore, we incubated these primary 7-DHC oxysterols in control Neuro2a and control human fibroblast cells and identified metabolites of these oxysterols by HPLC-MS. We also incubated Dhcr7-deficient Neuro2a cells and fibroblasts from SLOS patients with isotopically labeled 7-DHC (d(7)-7-DHC). The observation of matching d(0)- and d(7) peaks in HPLC-MS confirmed the presence of true metabolites of 7-DHC after excluding the possibility of ex vivo oxidation. The metabolites of primary 7-DHC oxysterols were found to contribute to the majority of the metabolic profile of 7-DHC in cells. Furthermore, based on this new data, we identified three new 7-DHC-derived metabolites in the brain of Dhcr7-KO mice. Our studies suggest that 7-DHC peroxidation is a major source of oxysterols observed in cells and in vivo and that the stable metabolites of primary 7-DHC oxysterols can be used as markers of 7-DHC peroxidation in these biological systems.
Project description:7-Dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) accumulates in tissues and fluids of patients with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS), which is caused by mutations in the gene encoding 3?-hydroxysterol-?(7)-reductase (DHCR7). We recently reported that 7-DHC is the most reactive lipid molecule toward free radical oxidation (lipid peroxidation) and 14 oxysterols have been identified as products of oxidation of 7-DHC in solution. As the high oxidizability of 7-DHC may lead to systemic oxidative stress in SLOS patients, we report here lipid biomarkers of oxidative stress in a Dhcr7-KO mouse model of SLOS, including oxysterols, isoprostanes (IsoPs), and neuroprostanes (NeuroPs) that are formed from the oxidation of 7-DHC, arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, respectively. In addition to a previously described oxysterol, 3?,5?-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one (DHCEO), we provide evidence for the chemical structures of three new oxysterols in the brain and/or liver tissue of Dhcr7-KO mice, two of which were quantified. We find that levels of IsoPs and NeuroPs are also elevated in brain and/or liver tissues of Dhcr7-KO mice relative to matching WT mice. While IsoPs and NeuroPs have been established as a reliable measurement of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in vivo, we show that in this genetic SLOS mouse model, 7-DHC-derived oxysterols are present at much higher levels than IsoPs and NeuroPs and thus are better markers of lipid oxidation and related oxidative stress.
Project description:A small library of pharmacologically active compounds (the NIH Clinical Collection) was assayed in Neuro2a cells to determine their effect on the last step in the biosynthesis of cholesterol, the transformation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) to cholesterol promoted by 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase, DHCR7. Of some 727 compounds in the NIH Clinical Collection, over 30 compounds significantly increased 7-DHC in Neuro2a cells when assayed at 1 ?M. Active compounds that increased 7-DHC with a Z-score of +3 or greater generally gave rise to modest decreases in desmosterol and increases in lanosterol levels. Among the most active compounds identified in the library were the antipsychotic, antidepressant, and anxiolytic compounds that included perospirone, nefazodone, haloperidol, aripiprazole, trazodone, and buspirone. Fluoxetine and risperidone were also active at 1 ?M, and another 10 compounds in this class of pharmaceuticals were identified in the screen at concentrations of 10 ?M. Increased levels of 7-DHC are associated with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS), a human condition that results from a mutation in the gene that encodes DHCR7. The SLOS phenotype includes neurological deficits and congenital malformations, and it is linked to a higher incidence of autism spectrum disorder. The significance of the current study is that it identifies common pharmacological compounds that may induce a biochemical presentation similar to SLOS. Little is known about the side effects of elevated 7-DHC postdevelopmentally, and the elevated 7-DHC that results from exposure to these compounds may also be a confounder in the diagnosis of SLOS.
Project description:Treatment of Sprague-Dawley rats with AY9944, an inhibitor of 3?-hydroxysterol-?(7)-reductase (Dhcr7), leads to elevated levels of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) and reduced levels of cholesterol in all biological tissues, mimicking the key biochemical hallmark of Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS). Fourteen 7-DHC-derived oxysterols previously have been identified as products of free radical oxidation in vitro; one of these oxysterols, 3?,5?-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one (DHCEO), was recently identified in Dhcr7-deficient cells and in brain tissues of Dhcr7-null mouse. We report here the isolation and characterization of three novel 7-DHC-derived oxysterols (4?- and 4?-hydroxy-7-DHC and 24-hydroxy-7-DHC) in addition to DHCEO and 7-ketocholesterol (7-kChol) from the brain tissues of AY9944-treated rats. The identities of these five oxysterols were elucidated by HPLC-ultraviolet (UV), HPLC-MS, and 1D- and 2D-NMR. Quantification of 4?- and 4?-hydroxy-7-DHC, DHCEO, and 7-kChol in rat brain, liver, and serum were carried out by HPLC-MS using d(7)-DHCEO as an internal standard. With the exception of 7-kChol, these oxysterols were present only in tissues of AY9944-treated, but not control rats, and 7-kChol levels were markedly (>10-fold) higher in treated versus control rats. These findings are discussed in the context of the potential involvement of 7-DHC-derived oxysterols in the pathogenesis of SLOS.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is an inborn error of cholesterol biosynthesis characterized by diminished cholesterol and increased 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) levels. 7-Dehydrocholesterol is highly reactive, giving rise to biologically active oxysterols. METHODS:7-DHC-derived oxysterols were measured in fibroblasts from SLOS patients and an in vivo SLOS rodent model using high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Expression of lipid biosynthesis genes was ascertained by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. The effects of an antioxidant mixture of vitamin A, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, and vitamin E were evaluated for their potential to reduce formation of 7-DHC oxysterols in fibroblast from SLOS patients. Finally, the effect of maternal feeding of vitamin E enriched diet was ascertained in the brain and liver of newborn SLOS mice. RESULTS:In cultured human SLOS fibroblasts, the antioxidant mixture led to decreased levels of the 7-DHC-derived oxysterol, 3?,5?-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one. Furthermore, gene expression changes in SLOS human fibroblasts were normalized with antioxidant treatment. The active ingredient appeared to be vitamin E, as even at low concentrations, it significantly decreased 3?,5?-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one levels. In addition, analyzing a mouse SLOS model revealed that feeding a vitamin E enriched diet to pregnant female mice led to a decrease in oxysterol formation in brain and liver tissues of the newborn Dhcr7-knockout pups. CONCLUSIONS:Considering the adverse effects of 7-DHC-derived oxysterols in neuronal and glial cultures and the positive effects of antioxidants in patient cell cultures and the transgenic mouse model, we believe that preventing formation of 7-DHC oxysterols is critical for countering the detrimental effects of DHCR7 mutations.
Project description:Free radical chain oxidation of highly oxidizable 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), initiated by 2,2'-azobis(4-methoxy-2,4-dimethylvaleronitrile), was carried out at 37 degrees C in benzene for 24 h. Fifteen oxysterols derived from 7-DHC were isolated and characterized with 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. A mechanism that involves abstraction of hydrogen atoms at C-9 and/or C-14 is proposed to account for the formation of all of the oxysterols and the reaction progress profile. In either the H-9 or H-14 mechanism, a pentadienyl radical intermediate is formed after abstraction of H-9 or H-14 by a peroxyl radical. This step is followed by the well-precedented transformations observed in peroxidation reactions of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as oxygen addition, peroxyl radical 5-exo cyclization, and S(H)i carbon radical attack on the peroxide bond. The mechanism for peroxidation of 7-DHC also accounts for the formation of numerous oxysterol natural products isolated from fungal species, marine sponges, and cactaceous species. In a cell viability test, the oxysterol mixture from 7-DHC peroxidation was found to be cytotoxic to Neuro2a neuroblastoma cells in the micromolar concentration range. We propose that the high reactivity of 7-DHC and the oxysterols generated from its peroxidation may play important roles in the pathogenesis of Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, X-linked dominant chondrodysplasia punctata, and cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis, all of these being metabolic disorders characterized by an elevated level of 7-DHC.
Project description:The level of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) is elevated in tissues and fluids of Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) patients due to defective 7-DHC reductase. Although over a dozen oxysterols have been identified from 7-DHC free radical oxidation in solution, oxysterol profiles in SLOS cells and tissues have never been studied. We report here the identification and complete characterization of a novel oxysterol, 3?,5?-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one (DHCEO), as a biomarker for 7-DHC oxidation in fibroblasts from SLOS patients and brain tissue from a SLOS mouse model. Deuterated (d?)-standards of 7-DHC and DHCEO were synthesized from d?-cholesterol. The presence of DHCEO in SLOS samples was supported by chemical derivatization in the presence of d?-DHCEO standard followed by HPLC-MS or GC-MS analysis. Quantification of cholesterol, 7-DHC, and DHCEO was carried out by isotope dilution MS with the d?-standards. The level of DHCEO was high and correlated well with the level of 7-DHC in all samples examined (R = 0.9851). Based on our in vitro studies in two different cell lines, the mechanism of formation of DHCEO that involves 5?,6?-epoxycholest-7-en-3?-ol, a primary free radical oxidation product of 7-DHC, and 7-cholesten-3?,5?,6?-triol is proposed. In a preliminary test, a pyrimidinol antioxidant was found to effectively suppress the formation of DHCEO in SLOS fibroblasts.
Project description:Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a severe autosomal recessive disorder resulting from defects in the cholesterol synthesising enzyme 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (?7-sterol reductase, DHCR7, EC 126.96.36.199) leading to a build-up of the cholesterol precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) in tissues and blood plasma. Although the underling enzyme deficiency associated with SLOS is clear there are likely to be multiple mechanisms responsible for SLOS pathology. In an effort to learn more of the aetiology of SLOS we have analysed plasma from SLOS patients to search for metabolites derived from 7-DHC which may be responsible for some of the pathology. We have identified a novel hydroxy-8-dehydrocholesterol, which is either 24- or 25-hydroxy-8-dehydrocholesterol and also the known metabolites 26-hydroxy-8-dehydrocholesterol, 4-hydroxy-7-dehydrocholesterol, 3?,5?-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one and 7?,8?-epoxycholesterol. None of these metabolites are detected in control plasma at quantifiable levels (0.5ng/mL).
Project description:Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding 3?-hydroxysterol-?(7)-reductase and as a result of this defect, 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) and 8-dehydrocholesterol (8-DHC) accumulate in the fluids and tissues of patients with this syndrome. Both 7- and 8-DHC are susceptible to peroxidation reactions, and several biologically active DHC oxysterols are found in cell and animal models of SLOS. Ex vivo oxidation of DHCs can be a confounding factor in the analysis of these sterols and their esters, and we developed HPLC/MS methods that permit the direct analysis of cholesterol, 7-DHC, 8-DHC, and their esters in human plasma, thus avoiding ex vivo oxidation. In addition, three oxysterols were classified as endogenously formed products by the use of an isotopically-labeled 7-DHC (d(7)-7-DHC) added to the sample before workup, followed by MS analysis of products formed. Analysis of 17 SLOS plasma samples shows that 8-DHC linoleate correlates better with the SLOS severity score of the patients than other sterols or metabolites, including cholesterol and 7-DHC. Levels of 7-ketocholesterol also correlate with the SLOS severity score. 8-DHC esters should have utility as surrogate markers of severity in SLOS for prognostication and as endpoints in clinical trials.
Project description:Mutations in both copies in the gene encoding 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7) cause Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS), which is characterized by a toxic elevation in 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC). Aripiprazole (ARI) exposure, independent of genetic mutations, also leads to elevation of 7-DHC. We investigated the combined effect of a single-copy Dhcr7+/- mutation and maternal ARI exposure on the developing offspring brain. We generated a time-pregnant mouse model where WT and Dhcr7+/- embryos were maternally exposed to ARI or vehicle (VEH) from E12 to E19 (5 mg/kg). Levels of cholesterol, its precursors, ARI and its metabolites were measured at P0. We found that ARI and its metabolites were transported across the placenta and reached the brain of offspring. Maternal ARI exposure led to decreased viability of embryos and increased 7-DHC levels, regardless of maternal or offspring Dhcr7 genotype. In addition, Dhcr7+/- pups were more vulnerable to maternal ARI exposure than their WT littermates, and maternal Dhcr7+/- genotype also exacerbated offspring response to ARI treatment. Finally, both 7-DHC levels and 7-DHC/cholesterol ratio is the highest in Dhcr7+/- pups from Dhcr7+/- mothers exposed to ARI, underscoring a potentially dangerous interaction between maternal genotype×embryonic genotype×treatment. Our findings have important clinical implications. SLOS patients should avoid drugs that increase 7-DHC levels such as ARI, trazodone and haloperidol. In addition, treatment with 7-DHC elevating substances might be potentially unsafe for the 1-1.5% of population with single-allele disruptions of the DHCR7 gene. Finally, prenatal and parental genetic testing for DHCR7 should be considered before prescribing sterol-interfering medications during pregnancy.