Disruption of the oxysterol 7α-hydroxylase gene in mice

Jia Li-Hawkins, Erik G. Lund, Stephen D. Turley, David W. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Mice without oxysterol 7α-hydroxylase, an enzyme of the alternate bile acid synthesis pathway with a sexually dimorphic expression pattern, were constructed by the introduction of a null mutation at the Cyp7b1 locus. Animals heterozygous (Cyp7b1(+/-)) and homozygous (Cyp7b1(-/-)) for this mutation were grossly indistinguishable from wild-type mice. Plasma and tissue levels of 25- and 27-hydroxycholesterol, two oxysterol substrates of this enzyme with potent regulatory actions in cultured cells, were markedly elevated in Cyp7b1(-/-) knockout animals. Parameters of bile acid metabolism as well as plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels in male and female Cyp7b1(-/-) mice were normal. The cholesterol contents of major tissues were not altered. In vivo sterol biosynthetic rates were unaffected in multiple tissues with the exception of the male kidney, which showed a ~40% decrease in de novo synthesis versus controls. We conclude that the major physiological role of the CYP7B1 oxysterol 7α-hydroxylase is to metabolize 25- and 27-hydroxycholesterol and that loss of this enzyme in the liver is compensated for by increases in the synthesis of bile acids by other pathways. A failure to catabolize oxysterols in the male kidney may lead to a decrease in de novo sterol synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16536-16542
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 2 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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