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Mevalonate is a key chemical precursor in the biosynthesis of cholesterol. The statin drugs used to lower cholesterol are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors that work by inhibiting the synthesis of mevalonate from the reduction of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA).

(CC) Image: David E. Volk
Biosynthesis of mevalonate from HMG CoA.

Its IUPAC chemical name is (3R)-3,5-dihydroxy-3-methylpentanoic acid and its chemical formula is C6H12O4 in the protonated state.