Control of Sterol Biosynthesis and its Importance to Developmental Regulation and Evolution

  • W. David Nes
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RAPT, volume 24)


Sterols are virtually ubiquitous constituents of all living systems at some point in their life history.1,2 In a few organisms they are replaced by pentacyclic triterpenoids.3–5 Although sterols may differ structurally from each other they share similar amphiphathic properties which make them suitable as membrane components. The principal function for sterols and sterol-like molecules is thought to be a non-metabolic one as an architectural component of membranes; while at the same time at sites not yet clear, there appears to be additional developmentally regulated functions for sterols to control the cell cycle.6–10 The multiple sterol functions appear to be species specific, but which sterol is essential in sterol-controlled ontogenetic events6 is not always predictable with the current data base. This chapter will be concerned with approaches developed in this laboratory to interrupt sterol biosynthesis and to assess the functional importance of sterols in the regulation of growth and reproduction of plants and fungi.


Plant Sterol Sterol Biosynthesis Isoprene Unit Pentacyclic Triterpenoids Side Chain Structure 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. David Nes
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant and Fungal Lipid Research, Plant Physiology Research UnitRussell Research CenterAthensUSA

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