Massive production of farnesol-derived dicarboxylic acids in mice treated with the squalene synthase inhibitor zaragozic acid A

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1998 Jul 1;355(1):84-92. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1998.0704.


The zaragozic acids are potent inhibitors of squalene synthase. In vivo studies in mice confirmed our earlier observations that inhibition of squalene synthase by zaragozic acid A was accompanied by an increase in the incorporation of label from [3H]mevalonate into farnesyl-diphosphate (FPP)-derived isoprenoic acids (J. D. Bergstrom et al., 1993, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 80-84). Farnesyl-diphosphate-derived metabolites appear transiently in the liver. We were unable to detect any farnesol formation in the zaragozic acid-treated animals which indicates that FPP is readily converted to farnesoic acid and dicarboxylic acids in the liver. These metabolites were found to be produced only in the liver and not in the kidney. trans-3,7-Dimethyl-2-octaen-1,8-dioic acid and 3, 7-dimethyloctan-1,8-dioic acid were identified as the major end products of farnesyl-diphosphate metabolism in the urine of mice treated with zaragozic acid A. Quantitative analysis of these FPP-derived dicarboxylic acids by gas-liquid chromatography revealed that approximately 11 mg of total dicarboxylic acids is excreted per day into the urine of a mouse after 3 days of treatment with zaragozic acid A.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dicarboxylic Acids / metabolism*
  • Dicarboxylic Acids / urine
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Farnesol / metabolism*
  • Farnesyl-Diphosphate Farnesyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mevalonic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Mevalonic Acid / blood
  • Mevalonic Acid / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Tricarboxylic Acids / pharmacology*


  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Dicarboxylic Acids
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Tricarboxylic Acids
  • squalestatin 1
  • Farnesol
  • mevalonolactone
  • Farnesyl-Diphosphate Farnesyltransferase
  • Mevalonic Acid