The activity and diurnal variation of 3-hydroxy-3-methyglutaryl-CoA reductase (EC 1.1.1.34; HMG-CoA reductase), the rate-limiting enzyme in the cholesterol-biosynthetic pathway, of normal and dystrophic hamsters was determined. Liver enzyme activity showed a diurnal pattern in the normal male, but not in the dystrophic male. Enzyme values in normal males at the midpoint of the 12 h dark period were 10 times those in dystrophic males. No evidence for diurnal variation in the HMG-CoA reductase of the brain was observed, and similar activities were found for normal and dystrophic animals. The apparent Km for HMG-CoA reductase from the liver of normal or dystrophic hamsters was approx. 9 microM, and the Vmax. was 5.9 and 21.7 pmol/min per mg of protein for dystrophic and normal hamsters respectively.

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