Cholesterol in plants

Cesar Arrese-Igor cesarai at
Mon Nov 21 13:48:11 EST 1994

In response to  Msg # 4399

>There is a little debate raging here in the lab regarding the
>presence of cholesterol in plants.  Stryer points to stigmasterol
>in plants but makes no claim for other sterols.  Our food lab
>claims that there is none, but presumably trace quantities would
>be exempt from food labels.  Can anyone out there come up with
>swer?  Thanks.

>                        "Mushrooms have genes?!"
>Erik Legg                                 phone 408 728 8321
>Amycel/SpawnMate Biotechnical Group       fax   408 728 8385

Sterols make a large proportion of total lipids in the plasma membrane from
most species. However, in contrast to mammals where cholesterol dominates,
sitosterol, campesterol ans stigmasterol are most abundant in plants.
Cholesterol is not very usual, but sometimes its occurrence is quite
relevant. Thus, the plasma membrane of oat leaves can contain up to 30% of
esterols in this form.
For an excellent review, you should read "The plant plasma membrane.
Structure, function and molecular biology" edited by C. Larsson and I.M.
Moller in Springer-Verlag.

Cesar Arrese-Igor
Dept. Ciencias del Medio Natural
Univ. Publica de Navarra
Campus de Arrosadia
E-31006 Pamplona, Spain
fax: +3448-169169

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