Review Article

Oxysterols: Genesis and Basic Functions

A. V. Antonchick1, V. N. Zhabinskii1 and V. A. Khripach1 #

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1Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, ul. Kuprevicha 5/2, Minsk, 220141, Belarus

Received: September  18, 2006; in final form: October  19, 2006

Abstract.  The structural peculiarities of the most widespread oxysterols, the products of oxidative transformations of cholesterol are discussed. The transformations proceed with the participation of enzymatic systems of the body or as a result of various nonenzymatic reactions. The pathways of their formation from cholesterol are also considered. The role of oxysterols in the maintenance of cholesterol homeostasis and in the development of atherosclerosis is reviewed. The possibility of using oxysterols as markers of pathological processes is demonstrated.

Key words:  atherosclerosis, cholesterol, homeostasis, nuclear receptors, oxysterols, steroids.

Russian Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry 2007, 33 (3): 275-287