Occurrence and biosynthesis of sterols in certain marine invertebrates



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Representative species of the phyla Sipunculoidea, Echiuroidea, Mollusca (class Amphineura), and Echinoderroata (class Asteroidea, Echinoidea, and Ophiuroidea) were studied for lipid and sterol content. Cholesterol was found to be the major sterol in the sipunculid Dendrostomum pyroides. The echiuroid Urechis caupo was found to contain a mixture of [Delta][raised 5]-sterols with cholesterol, 24-methyl cholesterol, and 24-ethyl-cholesterol as the major components. The mollusks Cryptochiton stelleri and Mopalia muscosa contained [Delta][raised 7]-cholestenol as the major sterol in all the tissues with the exception of the oviduct in which the sterol cholestanol was found to be a major component. The echinoderm Patiria miniata contained a mixture of [Delta][raised 7]-sterols with [Delta][raised 7]-cholestenol predominating. The echinoid and ophiuroid, Lytechinus pictus and Ophioderma panamensis, respectively, both contained the A -unsaturated sterols. Cholesterol was the major sterol in L.pictus, but 0. panamensis was found to contain 22-dehydrocholesterol, 24-methyl-[Delta][raised 5,22]-cholestadienol, and 24-ethyl cholesterol in addition to cholesterol as major compounds. The echiuroid U. caupo was shown to be capable to synthesizing sterols at a low rate from 2-[raised 14]C-mevalonic acid.