Lovastatin, also known as lovastatina (Spanish), lovastatine (French), lovastatinum (Latin) and 6-alpha-methylcompactin, is a type I statin used to treat hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) and prevent heart attacks and strokes by diminishing coronary atherosclerosis. It functions by inhibiting 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase. It is a pro-drug, which only becomes active after metabolism to the active form, the -hydroxyacid, a potent inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate. The conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate is an early step in the biosynthetic pathway of cholesterol. It was the first drug in the class HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors class, and it is a fungal metabolite isolated from cultures of Aspergillus terreus.
Its IUPAC name is [(1S,3R,7S,8S,8aR)-8-[2-[(2R,4R)-4-hydroxy-6-oxooxan-2-yl]ethyl]-3,7-dimethyl-1,2, 3,7,8,8a-hexahydronaphthalen-1-yl] (2S)-2-methylbutanoate and its chemical formula is C24H36O5.
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