noun[mass noun] Biochemistry
A compound present in ergot and many other fungi. A steroid alcohol, it is converted to vitamin D2 when irradiated with ultraviolet light.
- Maitake provides some B vitamins, ergosterol / provitamin D2, magnesium, potassium, calcium, unsaturated fatty acids, phosphatidylserine and other phospholipids, and protein.
- Our data show that inclusion of cholesterol or ergosterol in DPPC membranes confers resistance to ethanol-induced interdigitation.
- For example, one of the signature compounds for fungi is ergosterol, the cholesterol counterpart found in the cell walls of all fungi.
Early 20th century: from ergot, on the pattern of cholesterol.
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