3,β-Hydroxy-5α-cholestan-6-one: A Possible Precursor of α-Ecdysone Biosynthesis

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Nov 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4317, pp. 627-629
DOI: 10.1126/science.198.4317.627


The conversion of cholesterol into 3β-hydroxy-5α-cholestan-6-one has been demonstrated to occur in prothoracic glands of last instar larvae of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Incubation of glands containing radiolabeled 3β-hydroxy-5α-cholestan-6-one results in the disappearance of this sterol from the glands and the concomitant appearance of radiolabeled α-ecdysone in the medium. The observations suggest that the sterol is an intermediate in the synthesis of α-ecdysone.