Cholesterol Esterifying Enzyme in Normal and Degenerating Peripheral Nerve

Jeffrey K. Yao, Peter James Dyck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Abstract: The cholesterol esterifying enzyme which incorporates exogenous free [1‐14C]oleate into cholesteryl ester is present in rat sciatic endoneurium. Cholesterol esterification is optimal at pH 4.8. Exogenous ATP, CoA, and oleyl‐CoA do not greatly affect its activity. Various detergents and bile salts are inhibitory. Enzyme activity does not change appreciably during storage at 4°C for up to 4 days or at ‐70°C for up to 1 month. Of the subcellular fractions, the microsomal fraction exhibits the highest specific activity. Over 75% of enzyme activity is recovered, with equal amounts in the microsomal and soluble fractions. During nerve fiber degeneration an increase (more than fivefold) in cholesterol esterifying activity, which peaks 6 days after crush, is observed. Elevated levels of enzyme activity persist for 90 days after crush, by which time nerve regeneration is well established. Thus, it is concluded that an increase in cholesterol esterifying activity in degenerating nerve is primarily responsible for cholesterol esterification during Wallerian degeneration. The maximum increase in cholesterol esterifying activity is associated temporally with axonal degeneration and, particularly, with the formation of myelin ovoids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1981


  • Cholesterol esterifying enzyme
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Wallerian degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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