Definition of dehydrocholesterol in English:

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Pronunciation: /diːˌhʌɪdrə(ʊ)kəˈlɛstərɒl/


[mass noun] Biochemistry
A derivative of cholesterol present in the skin. It can be converted to cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) by the action of ultraviolet radiation.
  • Chemical formula: C27H44O.
Example sentences
  • In the skin 7 - dehydrocholesterol is converted to cholecalciferol following UV irradiation.
  • The most important source of vitamin D for all individuals is the sunlight-driven conversion in skin of 7 - dehydrocholesterol to cholecalciferol.
  • Other types of UV dosimeters are based on the photodamage of DNA in spores, bacteria or bacteriophages or the conversion of 7 - dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D.


1930s: from dehydro- 'that has lost hydrogen' + cholesterol.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de|hydro|chol¦es¦terol

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