1. G.l.c. examination of bile alcohols prepared from the sucker Catostomus commersoni Lacépède (family Catostomidae) showed that although 5α-cyprinol (5α-cholestane-3α,7α,12α,26,27-pentol) was a minor constituent, the principal bile alcohol was an undescribed substance, probably present in the bile as the C-26 sulphate ester, whose i.r., n.m.r. and mass spectra agreed with the structure 5α-cholestane-3α,7α,12α,24,26-pentol. 2. MD studies suggest that this 5α-chimaerol is the 24(+), 25S enantiomer and that 5β-chimaerol (chimaerol) from Chimaera monstrosa bile also has the 24(+), 25S configuration. These findings imply that bile alcohol biosynthesis in suckers and chimaeras includes stereospecific oxidation of cholesterol at C-26. 3. C. commersoni bile acids (present in minor amounts) probably consist largely of 3α,7α,12α-trihydroxy-5α-cholan-24-oic acid (allocholic acid). 4. 5α-Chimaerol sulphate and 5α-cyprinol sulphate are probably biochemically equivalent as bile salts, and can be considered as arising by parallel evolution.

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