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Biosynthesis of Squalene by the Annelid Lumbricus terrestris



LARGE amounts of sterols have been shown to be present in many of the invertebrates, although cholesterol does not seem to occur predominantly among the more primitive animals. Instead, as Bergmann has pointed out, the lower phyla especially appear to contain a diverse group of sterols with structures which are more similar to those of plants1. Moreover, since some Protozoa and insects have been shown to require dietary cholesterol2, it has been suggested that the invertebrates cannot synthesize their own sterols, but rather modify the steroid nucleus present in their food sources.

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    Bergmann, W., in “Cholesterol”, 436 (Academic Press Inc., New York, 1958).

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    Clark, A. J., and Bloch, K., J. Biol. Chem., 234, 2578 (1959).

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    Wright, L. D., Cresson, E. L., Skeggs, H. R., MacRae, G., Hoffmann, C. H., Wolf, D. E., and Folkers, K., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 78, 5273 (1956).

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    Loud, A. V., and Bucher, N. L. R., J. Biol. Chem., 233, 37 (1958).

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    Tavoramina, P. A., Gibbs, M. H., and Huff, J. W., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 78, 4498 (1956).

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    Cornforth, J. W., Cornforth, R. H., Popjak, G., and Gore, I. Y., Biochem. J., 69, 146 (1958).

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    Amdur, B. H., Rilling, H., and Bloch, K., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 79 2646 (1957).

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