Definitions

hydroxylase

Cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase

Cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of bile acid from cholesterol, catalyzing the formation of 7-alpha-hydroxycholesterol.

It is downregulated by Sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBP) when plasma cholesterol levels are low. It is upregulated by the nuclear receptor LXR (liver X receptor) when cholesterol (specifically - oxysterol) levels are high. The effect of this upregulation is to increase the production of bile acids and reduce the level of cholesterol in hepatocytes.

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