Vulnerability of DHCR7+/- mutation carriers to aripiprazole and trazodone exposure.
ABSTRACT: Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome is a recessive disorder caused by mutations in 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR)7 with a heterozygous (HET) carrier frequency of 1-3%. A defective DHCR7 causes accumulation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (DHC), which is a highly oxidizable and toxic compound. Recent studies suggest that several antipsychotics, including the highly prescribed pharmaceuticals, aripiprazole (ARI) and trazodone (TRZ), increase 7-DHC levels in vitro and in humans. Our investigation was designed to compare the effects of ARI and TRZ on cholesterol (Chol) synthesis in fibroblasts from DHCR7+/- human carriers and controls (CTRs). Six matched pairs of fibroblasts were treated and their sterol profile analyzed by LC-MS. Significantly, upon treatment with ARI and TRZ, the total accumulation of 7-DHC was higher in DHCR7-HET cells than in CTR fibroblasts. The same set of experiments was repeated in the presence of 13C-lanosterol to determine residual Chol synthesis, revealing that ARI and TRZ strongly inhibit de novo Chol biosynthesis. The results suggest that DHCR7 carriers have increased vulnerability to both ARI and TRZ exposure compared with CTRs. Thus, the 1-3% of the population who are DHCR7 carriers may be more likely to sustain deleterious health consequences on exposure to compounds like ARI and TRZ that increase levels of 7-DHC, especially during brain development.
Project description:Trazodone (TRZ) is a commonly prescribed antidepressant with significant off-label use for insomnia. A recent drug screening revealed that TRZ interferes with sterol biosynthesis, causing elevated levels of sterol precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC). Recognizing the well-documented, disruptive effect of 7-DHC on brain development, we designed a study to analyze TRZ effects during pregnancy. Utilizing an in vivo model and human biomaterial, our studies were designed to also account for drug interactions with maternal or offspring Dhcr7 genotype. In a maternal exposure model, we found that TRZ treatment increased 7-DHC and decreased desmosterol levels in brain tissue in newborn pups. We also observed interactions between Dhcr7 mutations and maternal TRZ exposure, giving rise to the most elevated toxic oxysterols in brains of Dhcr7<sup>+/-</sup> pups with maternal TRZ exposure, independently of the maternal Dhcr7 genotype. Therefore, TRZ use during pregnancy might be a risk factor for in utero development of a neurodevelopmental disorder, especially when the unborn child is of DHCR7<sup>+/-</sup> genotype. The effects of TRZ on 7-DHC was corroborated in human serum samples. We analyzed sterols and TRZ levels in individuals with TRZ prescriptions and found that circulating TRZ levels correlated highly with 7-DHC. The abundance of off-label use and high prescription rates of TRZ might represent a risk for the development of DHCR7 heterozygous fetuses. Thus, TRZ use during pregnancy is potentially a serious public health concern.
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.
Project description:We describe a highly sensitive method for the detection of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), the biosynthetic precursor of cholesterol, based on its reactivity with 4-phenyl-1,2,4-triazoline-3,5-dione (PTAD) in a Diels-Alder cycloaddition reaction. Samples of biological tissues and fluids with added deuterium-labeled internal standards were derivatized with PTAD and analyzed by LC-MS. This protocol permits fast processing of samples, short chromatography times, and high sensitivity. We applied this method to the analysis of cells, blood, and tissues from several sources, including human plasma. Another innovative aspect of this study is that it provides a reliable and highly reproducible measurement of 7-DHC in 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (Dhcr7)-HET mouse (a model for Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome) samples, showing regional differences in the brain tissue. We found that the levels of 7-DHC are consistently higher in Dhcr7-HET mice than in controls, with the spinal cord and peripheral nerve showing the biggest differences. In addition to 7-DHC, sensitive analysis of desmosterol in tissues and blood was also accomplished with this PTAD method by assaying adducts formed from the PTAD "ene" reaction. The method reported here may provide a highly sensitive and high throughput way to identify at-risk populations having errors in cholesterol biosynthesis.
Project description:The formation of lipid electrophile-protein adducts is associated with many disorders that involve perturbations of cellular redox status. The identities of adducted proteins and the effects of adduction on protein function are mostly unknown and an increased understanding of these factors may help to define the pathogenesis of various human disorders involving oxidative stress. 7-Dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), the immediate biosynthetic precursor to cholesterol, is highly oxidizable and gives electrophilic oxysterols that adduct proteins readily, a sequence of events proposed to occur in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS), a human disorder resulting from an error in cholesterol biosynthesis. Alkynyl lanosterol (a-Lan) was synthesized and studied in Neuro2a cells, Dhcr7-deficient Neuro2a cells and human fibroblasts. When incubated in control Neuro2a cells and control human fibroblasts, a-Lan completed the sequence of steps involved in cholesterol biosynthesis and alkynyl-cholesterol (a-Chol) was the major product formed. In Dhcr7-deficient Neuro2a cells or fibroblasts from SLOS patients, the biosynthetic transformation was interrupted at the penultimate step and alkynyl-7-DHC (a-7-DHC) was the major product formed. When a-Lan was incubated in Dhcr7-deficient Neuro2a cells and the alkynyl tag was used to ligate a biotin group to alkyne-containing products, protein-sterol adducts were isolated and identified. In parallel experiments with a-Lan and a-7-DHC in Dhcr7-deficient Neuro2a cells, a-7-DHC was found to adduct to a larger set of proteins (799) than a-Lan (457) with most of the a-Lan protein adducts (423) being common to the larger a-7-DHC set. Of the 423 proteins found common to both experiments, those formed from a-7-DHC were more highly enriched compared to a DMSO control than were those derived from a-Lan. The 423 common proteins were ranked according to the enrichment determined for each protein in the a-Lan and a-7-DHC experiments and there was a very strong correlation of protein ranks for the adducts formed in the parallel experiments.
Project description:The last step of cholesterol biosynthesis is the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) into cholesterol, a reaction catalyzed by dehydrocholesterol reductase 7 (DHCR7). Investigation of the effect of <i>Dhcr</i>7 single-allele mutations on the metabolism of aripiprazole (ARI) and cariprazine (CAR) in maternally exposed transgenic pups revealed that ARI, CAR, and their active metabolites were decreased in the liver and brain of <i>Dhcr</i>7 <sup><i>+/-</i></sup> . This difference in the drug and metabolite levels resulted in an increased turnover of ARI and CAR in tissues from <i>Dhcr</i>7 <sup><i>+/-</i></sup> animals, indicating an enhanced metabolism, which was at least partially due to increased levels of Cyp2d6 in the liver of <i>Dhcr</i>7 <sup><i>+/-</i></sup> mice. Finally, experiments with both WT and <i>DHCR</i>7 <sup><i>+/-</i></sup> human fibroblasts revealed lower drug levels in <i>DHCR</i>7 <sup><i>+/-</i></sup> heterozygous cells. Our findings have potential clinical implications, as <i>DHCR</i>7 heterozygosity is present in 1-3% in the human population, and these individuals might have reduced therapeutic levels of Cyp2d6-metabolized medications and are putatively more susceptible to unwanted side effects.
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: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:Regulating blood cholesterol (Chol) levels by pharmacotherapy has successfully improved cardiovascular health. There is growing interest in the role of Chol precursors in the treatment of diseases. One sterol precursor, desmosterol (Des), is a potential pharmacological target for inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. However, elevating levels of the precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) by inhibiting the enzyme 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase is linked to teratogenic outcomes. Thus, altering the sterol profile may either increase risk toward an adverse outcome or confer therapeutic benefit depending on the metabolite affected by the pharmacophore. In order to characterize any unknown activity of drugs on Chol biosynthesis, a chemical library of Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs was screened for the potential to modulate 7-DHC or Des levels in a neural cell line. Over 20% of the collection was shown to impact Chol biosynthesis, including 75 compounds that alter 7-DHC levels and 49 that modulate Des levels. Evidence is provided that three tyrosine kinase inhibitors, imatinib, ponatinib, and masitinib, elevate Des levels as well as other substrates of 24-dehydrocholesterol reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting Des to Chol. Additionally, the mechanism of action for ponatinib and masitinib was explored, demonstrating that protein levels are decreased as a result of treatment with these drugs.
Project description: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:The Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS; also known as "RSH syndrome" [MIM 270400]) is an autosomal recessive multiple malformation syndrome due to a defect in cholesterol biosynthesis. Children with SLOS have elevated serum 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) levels and typically have low serum cholesterol levels. On the basis of this biochemical abnormality, it has been proposed that mutations in the human sterol Delta7-reductase (7-DHC reductase; E.C.220.127.116.11) gene cause SLOS. However, one could also propose a defect in a gene that encodes a protein necessary for either the expression or normal function of sterol Delta7-reductase. We cloned cDNA encoding a human sterol Delta7-reductase (DHCR7) on the basis of its homology with the sterol Delta7-reductase from Arabidopsis thaliana, and we confirmed the enzymatic function of the human gene product by expression in SLOS fibroblasts. SLOS fibroblasts transfected with human sterol Delta7-reductase cDNA showed a significant reduction in 7-DHC levels, compared with those in SLOS fibroblasts transfected with the vector alone. Using radiation-hybrid mapping, we show that the DHCR7 gene is encoded at chromosome 11q12-13. To establish that defects in this gene cause SLOS, we sequenced cDNA clones from SLOS patients. In three unrelated patients we have identified four different mutant alleles. Our results demonstrate both that the cDNA that we have identified encodes the human sterol Delta7-reductase and that mutations in DHCR7 are responsible for at least some cases of SLOS.