A point mutation in the bile acid biosynthetic enzyme sterol 27- hydroxylase in a family with cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis

N. Nakashima, Y. Sakai, H. Sakai, T. Yanase, M. Haji, F. Umeda, S. Koga, T. Hoshita, H. Nawata

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Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is a rare familial disorder characterized by progressive neurological dysfunction, atherosclerosis, and xanthomas with sterol-storage in the nervous system, vessels, and tendons. Increased serum cholestanol, derived from intermediates of cholesterol catabolism, may possibly be a major cause of the disease. An examination was made of the cDNA encoding cytochrome P450 sterol 27-hydroxylase (CYP27) in hepatic mitochondria, considered a defective enzyme inducing CTX, in a Japanese housewife afflicted with CTX and her family. The proposita and one of her brothers, who also had CTX symptoms and hypercholestanolemia, were found to be homozygotic, carrying a point mutation in the CYP27 gene at Arg104 (CGG) to Trp104 (TGG). The mutant position has a 100% conserved positive charge in all known vertebrate cytochrome P450s and even in bacterial cytochrome P450cam. The mother of the proposita and another brother were both free of CTX symptoms and were heterozygotic for the mutation, although their plasma cholestanol increased moderately. An increase in plasma cholestanol alone would, thus, not appear to be a direct cause of sterol storage in CTX, while CTX is strongly suggested to be caused by defects in both alleles of the CYP27 gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-668
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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