By inhibiting the rate-limiting enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway (conversion of hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA to mevalonate), they also prevent the formation of isoprenoid intermediaries like isopentenyl-pyrophosphate, dimethylallyl-pyrophosphate, geranyl-pyrophosphate, and farnesylpyrophosphate
. Isoprenoids play an important role in the posttranslational modification and membrane attachment of multiple signaling molecules, among them GTP-binding proteins of the Ras and Rho family.
The inhibition of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, an essential key in the biosynthesis of cholesterol (Medina 2010; Musso et al., 2011), demonstrates to be the key point to reduce cholesterol and several compounds like isopentenyladenine, dolichol, ubiquinone, geranilpirofosfato (GGPP), farnesylpyrophosphate
(FPP) (Wong et al., 2007; Gauthaman et al., 2009).