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Record Information
Creation Date2006-05-22 15:12:05 UTC
Update Date2017-08-16 04:02:39 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB02719
Metabolite Identification
Common NameDesmosterol
DescriptionDesmosterol is an intermediate in the synthesis of cholesterol. Desmosterolosis is a rare autosomal recessive inborn errors of cholesterol synthesis that is caused by defective activity of desmosterol reductase which results in an accumulation of demosterol (DHCR24, EC, combines a severe osteosclerotic skeletal dysplasia and includes 2-3 toe syndactyly with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS; the biochemical block in SLOS results in decreased cholesterol levels and increased 7-dehydrocholesterol levels). Desmosterolosis is caused by mutation of the 24-dehydrocholesterol reductase gene (DHCR24). Many of the malformations in SLOS and desmosterolosis are consistent with impaired hedgehog function. The hedgehog proteins include Sonic hedgehog (SHH), which plays a major role in midline patterning and limb development. Desmosterolosis, caused by defective activity of desmosterol reductase, combines a severe osteosclerotic skeletal dysplasia. 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7, EC reduces the C7-C8 double bond in the sterol B ring to form cholesterol or desmosterol depending upon the precursor. Desmosterol can be converted to cholesterol by DHCR24. Therefore, SLOS and Desmosterolosis patients invariably have elevated levels of cholesterol precursor's 7-dehydrocholesterol (and its spontaneous isomer 8-dehydrocholesterol) and absent desmosterol. (PMID: 14631207 , 16207203 ).
24 DehydrocholesterolMeSH
Chemical FormulaC27H44O
Average Molecular Weight384.6377
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight384.33921603
IUPAC Name(1S,2R,5S,10S,11S,14R,15R)-2,15-dimethyl-14-[(2R)-6-methylhept-5-en-2-yl]tetracyclo[²,⁷.0¹¹,¹⁵]heptadec-7-en-5-ol
Traditional Namedesmosterol
CAS Registry Number313-04-2
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as cholesterols and derivatives. These are compounds containing a 3-hydroxylated cholestane core.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassSteroids and steroid derivatives
Sub ClassCholestane steroids
Direct ParentCholesterols and derivatives
Alternative Parents
  • Cholesterol-skeleton
  • Cholesterol
  • 3-beta-hydroxysteroid
  • 3-beta-hydroxy-delta-5-steroid
  • Hydroxysteroid
  • 3-hydroxysteroid
  • 3-hydroxy-delta-5-steroid
  • Delta-5-steroid
  • Cyclic alcohol
  • Secondary alcohol
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Alcohol
  • Aliphatic homopolycyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic homopolycyclic compounds
External Descriptors
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Endogenous
  • Food
  • Cell signaling
  • Fuel and energy storage
  • Fuel or energy source
  • Hormones, Membrane component
  • Membrane integrity/stability
  • Nutrients
  • Stabilizers
  • Surfactants and Emulsifiers
Cellular locations
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane (predicted from logP)
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point121.5 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water SolubilityNot AvailableNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.000114 mg/mLALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)18.2ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-1.4ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count1ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area20.23 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count4ChemAxon
Refractivity121.47 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability49.6 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings4ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, NegativeNot Available
MSMass Spectrum (Electron Ionization)splash10-0avl-7941000000-99b5e69bc97a4056fa8cView in MoNA
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane (predicted from logP)
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
  • Semen
Tissue Location
  • Brain
  • Kidney
Alendronate pathwaySMP00095Not Available
Atorvastatin PathwaySMP00131Not Available
Cerivastatin PathwaySMP00111Not Available
CHILD SyndromeSMP00387Not Available
Cholesteryl ester storage diseaseSMP00508Not Available
Chondrodysplasia Punctata II, X Linked Dominant (CDPX2)SMP00388Not Available
DesmosterolosisSMP00386Not Available
Fluvastatin PathwaySMP00119Not Available
Hyper-IgD syndromeSMP00509Not Available
HypercholesterolemiaSMP00209Not Available
Ibandronate PathwaySMP00079Not Available
Lovastatin PathwaySMP00099Not Available
Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency (Wolman Disease)SMP00319Not Available
Mevalonic aciduriaSMP00510Not Available
Pamidronate PathwaySMP00117Not Available
Pravastatin PathwaySMP00089Not Available
Risedronate PathwaySMP00112Not Available
Rosuvastatin PathwaySMP00092Not Available
Simvastatin Action PathwaySMP00082Not Available
Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS)SMP00389Not Available
Steroid BiosynthesisSMP00023map00100
Wolman diseaseSMP00511Not Available
Zoledronate PathwaySMP00107Not Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified1.81 +/- 0.067 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified0.79 +/- 0.017 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified2.9 +/- 0.2 uMAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified2.37 +/- 1.04 uMAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal details
SemenDetected and Quantified180 +/- 20 uMAdult (>18 years old)MaleNormal details
Abnormal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified2.9 +/- 0.4 uMAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedPrimary biliary cirrhosis details
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease References
Primary biliary cirrhosis
  1. Nikkila K, Hockerstedt K, Miettinen TA: High cholestanol and low campesterol-to-sitosterol ratio in serum of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis before liver transplantation. Hepatology. 1991 Apr;13(4):663-9. [PubMed:2010161 ]
Associated OMIM IDs
DrugBank IDNot Available
DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB005374
KNApSAcK IDC00023743
Chemspider ID388662
KEGG Compound IDC01802
BioCyc IDCPD-4141
BiGG ID38445
Wikipedia LinkNot Available
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB0002719
PubChem Compound439577
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID17737
Synthesis ReferenceKircher, Henry W.; Rosenstein, Fumiko U. Preparation of desmosterol from (20S,22R,S)-3b-acetoxychola-5,23-dien-22-ol. Journal of Organic Chemistry (1987), 52(12), 2586-8.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Miettinen TE, Kesaniemi YA, Gylling H, Jarvinen H, Silvennoinen E, Miettinen TA: Noncholesterol sterols in bile and stones of patients with cholesterol and pigment stones. Hepatology. 1996 Feb;23(2):274-80. [PubMed:8591852 ]
  2. Phillips KM, Ruggio DM, Bailey JA: Precise quantitative determination of phytosterols, stanols, and cholesterol metabolites in human serum by capillary gas-liquid chromatography. J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1999 Sep 10;732(1):17-29. [PubMed:10517218 ]
  3. Siirtola A, Ketomaki A, Miettinen TA, Gylling H, Lehtimaki T, Holmberg C, Salo MK, Antikainen M: Cholesterol absorption and synthesis in pediatric kidney, liver, and heart transplant recipients. Transplantation. 2006 Feb 15;81(3):327-34. [PubMed:16477216 ]
  4. Miettinen TA, Kesaniemi YA, Jarvinen H, Hastbacka J: Cholesterol precursor sterols, plant sterols, and cholestanol in human bile and gallstones. Gastroenterology. 1986 Apr;90(4):858-64. [PubMed:3081398 ]
  5. Rosenfeld RS, Bradlow HL, Levin J, Zumoff B: Preparation of [24,25-3H] cholesterol. Oxidation in man as a measure of bile acid formation. J Lipid Res. 1978 Sep;19(7):850-5. [PubMed:712244 ]
  6. Dennick RG, Dean PD, Abramovich DA: Desmosterol levels in human foetal brain--a reassessment. J Neurochem. 1973 Apr;20(4):1293-4. [PubMed:4697890 ]
  7. Nordby G, Norum KR: Substrate specificity of lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase. Esterification of desmosterol, b-sitosterol, and cholecalciferol in human plasma. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1975 Nov;35(7):677-82. [PubMed:174187 ]
  8. Beasley CL, Honer WG, Bergmann K, Falkai P, Lutjohann D, Bayer TA: Reductions in cholesterol and synaptic markers in association cortex in mood disorders. Bipolar Disord. 2005 Oct;7(5):449-55. [PubMed:16176438 ]
  9. Paoletti P, Pezzotta S, Racca AR, Fumagalli R: Chemotherapy of human nervous system tumors: influence on cerebrospinal fluid sterols. Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1977 Dec;46:125-6. [PubMed:613223 ]
  10. Volpe JJ, Hennessy SW: Cholesterol biosynthesis and 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase in cultured glial and neuronal cells. Regulation by lipoprotein and by certain free sterols. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1977 Mar 25;486(3):408-20. [PubMed:856284 ]
  11. Clark RM, Fey MB, Jensen RG, Hill DW: Desmosterol in human milk. Lipids. 1983 Mar;18(3):264-6. [PubMed:6855485 ]
  12. Porter FD: Human malformation syndromes due to inborn errors of cholesterol synthesis. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2003 Dec;15(6):607-13. [PubMed:14631207 ]
  13. Yu H, Patel SB: Recent insights into the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome. Clin Genet. 2005 Nov;68(5):383-91. [PubMed:16207203 ]


General function:
Energy production and conversion
Specific function:
Catalyzes the reduction of the delta-24 double bond of sterol intermediates. Protects cells from oxidative stress by reducing caspase 3 activity during apoptosis induced by oxidative stress. Also protects against amyloid-beta peptide-induced apoptosis.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Cholesterol + NADP → Desmosterol + Hydrogen Ion + NADPHdetails