Our most recent collaborative Nature publication with several partners from the SPP 2306:

Konrad DB, Garcia-Saez A,  Fedorova M, Trumpp A, Conrad M, Friedmann Angeli JP

Original publication:

7-Dehydrocholesterol is an endogenous suppressor of ferroptosis.

Freitas FP, Alborzinia H, Dos Santos AF, Nepachalovich P, Pedrera L, Zilka O, Inague A, Klein C, Aroua N, Kaushal K, Kast B, Lorenz SM, Kunz V, Nehring H, Xavier da Silva TN, Chen Z, Atici S, Doll SG, Schaefer EL, Ekpo I, Schmitz W, Horling A, Imming P, Miyamoto S, Wehman AM, Genaro-Mattos TC, Mirnics K, Kumar L, Klein-Seetharaman J, Meierjohann S, Weigand I, Kroiss M, Bornkamm GW, Gomes F, Netto LES, Sathian MB, Konrad DB, Covey DF, Michalke B, Bommert K, Bargou RC, Garcia-Saez A, Pratt DA, Fedorova M, Trumpp A, Conrad M, Friedmann Angeli JP.Nature. 2024 Jan 31. doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-06878-9. Online ahead of print.PMID: 38297129

Ferroptosis is a form of cell death that has received considerable attention not only as a means to eradicate defined tumour entities but also because it provides unforeseen insights into the metabolic adaptation that tumours exploit to counteract phospholipid oxidation1,2. Here, we identify proferroptotic activity of 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7) and an unexpected prosurvival function of its substrate, 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC). Although previous studies suggested that high concentrations of 7-DHC are cytotoxic to developing neurons by favouring lipid peroxidation3, we now show that 7-DHC accumulation confers a robust prosurvival function in cancer cells. Because of its far superior reactivity towards peroxyl radicals, 7-DHC effectively shields (phospho)lipids from autoxidation and subsequent fragmentation. We provide validation in neuroblastoma and Burkitt’s lymphoma xenografts where we demonstrate that the accumulation of 7-DHC is capable of inducing a shift towards a ferroptosis-resistant state in these tumours ultimately resulting in a more aggressive phenotype. Conclusively, our findings provide compelling evidence of a yet-unrecognized antiferroptotic activity of 7-DHC as a cell-intrinsic mechanism that could be exploited by cancer cells to escape ferroptosis.