Regulation of the adrenal androgen biosynthesis

William E. Rainey, Yasuhiro Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The human adrenal reticularis produces the so-called adrenal androgens, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S). As opposed to the cortisol and aldosterone little is known regarding the mechanisms that regulate the production of the adrenal androgens. Several recent studies have shown that type II 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B2), cytochrome b5 (CYB5), and steroid sulfotransferase (SULT2A1) play an important role in the regulation of adrenal androgen production. Specifically, adrenal production of DHEA-S is correlated with reticularis expression of SULT2A1 and CYB5. In contrast, HSD3B2 has an inverse correlation with adrenal androgen production likely due to its unique ability to remove precursors from the pathway leading to DHEA. Therefore, its expression is limited to the adrenal glomerulosa/fasciculata but not in reticularis. The differential expression of these three proteins appears to be critical for reticularis function. In this review, we focus on studies that have begun to define the mechanisms regulating the transcription of these genes. Understanding the mechanisms controlling differential expression of these proteins should provide novel information about the human adrenal reticularis and its production of DHEA and DHEA-S.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-286
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume108
Issue number3-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase
  • Adrenal
  • Androgen
  • Cytochrome b5
  • DHEA-sulfotransferase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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