A Novel Squalene Synthase inhibitor Combined with a Statin or Nitrogenous Biphosphonate in vitro




Wasko, Brian

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


J. Lipid Res.


Statins and nitrogenous bisphosphonates (NBP) inhibit 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme-A reductase (HMGCR) and farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FDPS), respectively, leading to depletion of farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) and disruption of protein prenylation. Squalene synthase (SQS) utilizes FPP in the first committed step from the mevalonate pathway toward cholesterol biosynthesis. Herein, we have identified novel biphosphonates as potent and specific inhibitors of SQS, including tetrasodium salt of 9-biphenyl-4, dimethyl-nona-3, 7-dienyl-1, 1-biphosphonic acid (Compound 5). Compound 5 reduced cholesterol biosynthesis and lead to a substantial intracellular accumulation of FPP without reducing cell viability in HepG2 cells. At high concentrations, lovastatin and zoledronate impaired protein prenylation and decreased cell viability, which limited their potential use for cholesterol depletion. When combined with lovastatin, compound 5 prevented lovastatin-induced FPP depletion and impairment of protein farnesylation. Compound 5 in combination with the NBP zoledronate completely prevented zoledronate-induced impairment of both protein farnesylation and geranylgeranylation. Cotreatment of cells with compound 5 and either lovastatin or zoledronate was able to significantly prevent the reduction of cell viability caused by lovastatin or zoledronate alone. The combination of SQS inhibitor with an HMGCR or FDPS inhibitor provides a rational approach for reducing cholesterol synthesis while preventing nonsterol isoprenoid depletionl



squalene synthase inhibitor, aminobisphosphonate, cholesterol, lovastatin, zoledronate, prenylation, farnesylation, geranylgeranylation


Wasko BM, Smits JP, Shull LW, Wiemer DF, and Hohl RJ. A novel squalene synthase inhibitor combined with a statin or nitrogenous bisphosphonate in vitro. J. Lipid Res. 2011 Nov;52(11):1957-64. PMID: 21903868.