We previously synthesized dendrogenin A and hypothesized that it could be a natural metabolite occurring in mammals. Here we explore this hypothesis and report the discovery of dendrogenin A in mammalian tissues and normal cells as an enzymatic product of the conjugation of 5,6α-epoxy-cholesterol and histamine. Dendrogenin A was not detected in cancer cell lines and was fivefold lower in human breast tumours compared with normal tissues, suggesting a deregulation of dendrogenin A metabolism during carcinogenesis. We established that dendrogenin A is a selective inhibitor of cholesterol epoxide hydrolase and it triggered tumour re-differentiation and growth control in mice and improved animal survival. The properties of dendrogenin A and its decreased level in tumours suggest a physiological function in maintaining cell integrity and differentiation. The discovery of dendrogenin A reveals a new metabolic pathway at the crossroads of cholesterol and histamine metabolism and the existence of steroidal alkaloids in mammals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)