Author(s): Wang GM, Ge RS, Latif SA, Morris DJ, Hardy MP
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Abstract 11Beta-hydroxy (11beta-OH) derivatives of certain steroids function as inhibitors of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase isoform 1 (11betaHSD1), an enzyme expressed in Leydig cells that catalyzes the reversible oxidation of biologically active glucocorticoids to inactive 11-dehydro metabolites. 11beta-Hydroxylase is an adrenal enzyme responsible for glucocorticoid biosynthesis, catalyzing 11beta-hydroxylation of steroids and thus producing 11beta-OH-steroid derivatives. The aims of the present study were 1) to examine whether 11beta-hydroxylase is expressed in testis, 2) to define the biochemical characteristics of the testicular form of this enzyme, and 3) to establish whether 11beta-hydroxylated steroids inhibit Leydig cell 11betaHSD1 activities. 11beta-Hydroxylase mRNA was detected in purified rat Leydig cells by RT-PCR. Sequencing confirmed that the PCR products had 100\% identity with the published rat adrenal enzyme cDNA sequence. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis using a mouse monoclonal antibody confirmed the expression of 11beta-hydroxylase protein in Leydig cells. Moreover, 11beta-hydroxylase activity, synthesis of corticosterone from 11-deoxycorticosterone, was measurable in Leydig cells, and the K(m) and maximum velocity values were 7.28 +/- 0. 92 microM and 1.13 +/- 0.04 micromol/10(6) cell x h, respectively. When assayed in Leydig cells, several 11beta-hydroxylated steroids were efficient inhibitors of 11betaHSD1 dehydrogenase activity, whereas other 11-keto compounds were effective as inhibitors of oxidoreductase activity. These results provide the first direct evidence that rat Leydig cells express 11beta-hydroxylase, which may be involved in the regulation of glucocorticoid metabolism within the testis through local biosynthesis of endogenous inhibitors of 11betaHSD1.
This article was published in Endocrinology
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science