Changes in mRNA expression of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase and cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase in chickens

Kan Sato, Aya Ohuchi, Seol Hyang Sook, Masaaki Toyomizu, Yukio Akiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGR) and cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), essential enzymes of cholesterol synthesis and excretion, respectively, were isolated from a chicken liver cDNA library. When their recombinant proteins were overexpressed in HNK293 cells, corresponding enzyme activities were observed. The complete open reading frames of MHGR and CYP7A1 contained (i) 2625 base pairs (bp), predicting a protein of 875 amino acids, and (ii) 1539 bp, predicting a protein of 513 amino acids, respectively. By Northern blot analysis, chicken HMGR mRNA expression was detected in most tissues examined, however, the highest levels were found in liver, brain and ileum. CYP7A1 mRNA was detected only in the liver. Changes in chicken HMGR and CYP7A1 mRNA expression with nutritional state were examined and were shown to respond to certain nutritional treatments, i.e. fast refeeding and cholesterol supplementation. HMGR and CYP7A1 mRNA levels were significantly increased with maturation (i.e. egg producing), when compared to immature chickens. However, these stimulations were not associated with estrogen, although this does enhance triacylglycerol and very low density lipoprotein secretion by the chicken liver. The present study is the first to report the molecular characterization of HMGR and CYP7A1, key enzymes of cholesterol metabolism in avian species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Structure and Expression
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov 30


  • 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGR)
  • Chicken
  • Cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1)
  • mRNA expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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