Study Title:

The biosynthesis of squalene.

Study Abstract

In 1916 Tsujimoto (1) isolated from shark liver oil a hydrocarbon having
the empirical formula C&H60 which he named squalene. Later the structure of this hydrocarbon was established as a dihydrotriterpene by Heilbron and coworkers (2, 3). This compound has more recently been found
to be of rather wide-spread occurrence. It has been reported to occur in
yeast (4), palm oil (5), human dermoid cysts (6), and human sebum (7,
S).l However, it has not been known whether squalene is synthesized by
animals or whether its ultimate source is ingested plant material.
Rat tissues do not normally contain sufficient squalene to make direct
isolation feasible. However, if this hydrocarbon is fed, small amounts can
subsequently be recovered from the tissues, indicating that it is absorbed
from the gastrointestinal tract. With shark liver squalene as a carrier,
synthesis of the hydrocarbon in rat tissues can be demonstrated with the
aid of the isotopic tracer technique. Acetate serves as a carbon source in
this process.

Study Information

J Biol Chem. 1953 Jan;200(1):129-34. PMID: 13034767.

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