Gene Summary

Gene:HSD3B2; hydroxy-delta-5-steroid dehydrogenase, 3 beta- and steroid delta-isomerase 2
Aliases: HSDB, HSD3B, SDR11E2
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a bifunctional enzyme that catalyzes the oxidative conversion of delta(5)-ene-3-beta-hydroxy steroid, and the oxidative conversion of ketosteroids. It plays a crucial role in the biosynthesis of all classes of hormonal steroids. This gene is predominantly expressed in the adrenals and the gonads. Mutations in this gene are associated with 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, type II, deficiency. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2009]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Delta 5-->4-isomerase type 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (17)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Steroidogenic Factor 1
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Enzymologic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Estrogens
  • Disease Progression
  • Polymorphism
  • Chromosome 1
  • 3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Progesterone Reductase
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Steroid 21-Hydroxylase
  • Adrenocortical Cancer
  • Androgens
  • Progesterone
  • Pedigree
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase
  • CYP17
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Cholesterol Side-Chain Cleavage Enzyme
  • Testosterone
  • Transcription Factors
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Androgen Receptors
  • Mutation
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Risk Factors
  • Steroids
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Androstenedione
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Genotype
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: HSD3B2 (cancer-related)

Sun Y, Wang W, Guo Y, et al.
High copper levels in follicular fluid affect follicle development in polycystic ovary syndrome patients: Population-based and in vitro studies.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2019; 365:101-111 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the adverse effects of copper overexposure on the liver, kidney, spleen and intestinal organs are well known, information about the impact of copper toxicity on human reproduction is limited. A total of 348 infertile patients were enrolled in our present study, including 89 with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), 145 with fallopian tube obstruction and 114 controls. The follicular fluid concentrations of 22 trace elements were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Principal component analysis was used to identify trace element profile alterations in different groups. The mRNA levels of steroidogenesis-related genes were measured by real-time PCR. Our results showed that the trace element profile in follicular fluid was obviously altered in PCOS patients. Copper concentrations were significantly (p < .05) higher in the PCOS group than in the other two groups. Increased copper levels in follicular fluid were associated with a higher number of retrievable oocytes in the PCOS group (B = 1.785, p = .001) but a lower rate of high-quality embryos (B = -6.360, p = .050). Moreover, follicular fluid copper levels were positively correlated with follicular fluid progesterone levels (r = 0.275, p = .010) and testosterone levels (r = 0.250, p = .022). Cultured human granulosa cells overexposed to copper showed significantly (p < .05) increased estradiol secretion and decreased testosterone levels. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed a significant (p < .05) increase in CYP19A1 and HSD3b mRNA expression. Our results indicate that increased copper levels in follicular fluid could affect follicle development in PCOS patients, and the mechanism may be related to copper-induced abnormalities in steroidogenesis.

Tetti M, Castellano I, Venziano F, et al.
Role of Cryptochrome-1 and Cryptochrome-2 in Aldosterone-Producing Adenomas and Adrenocortical Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(6) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mice lacking the core-clock components, cryptochrome-1 (CRY1) and cryptochrome-2 (CRY2) display a phenotype of hyperaldosteronism, due to the upregulation of type VI 3β-hydroxyl-steroid dehydrogenase (

Baquedano MS, Perez Garrido N, Goñi J, et al.
DNA methylation is not involved in specific down-regulation of HSD3B2, NR4A1 and RARB genes in androgen-secreting cells of human adrenal cortex.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2017; 441:46-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
We hypothesized that DNA methylation is involved in human adrenal functional zonation. mRNAs expression and methylation pattern of RARB, NR4A1 and HSD3B2 genes in human adrenal tissues (HAT) and in pediatric virilizing adrenocortical tumors (VAT) were analyzed. For analysis of the results samples were divided into 3 age groups according to FeZ involution, pre and post-adrenarche ages. In all HAT, similar RARB mRNA was found including microdissected zona reticularis (ZR) and zona fasciculata, but HSD3B2 and NR4A1 mRNAs were lower in ZR (p < 0.05). NR4A1 and RARB promoters remained unmethylated in HAT and VAT. No adrenal zone-specific differences in NR4A1 methylation were observed. In summary, RARB was not associated with ZR-specific downregulation of HSD3B2 in postnatal human adrenocotical zonation. DNA methylation would not be involved in NR4A1 adrenocortical cell-type specific downregulation. Lack of CpG islands in HSD3B2 suggested that HSD3B2 ZR-specific downregulation would not be directly mediated by DNA methylation.

Chen M, Xu Y, Miao B, et al.
Expression pattern of circadian genes and steroidogenesis-related genes after testosterone stimulation in the human ovary.
J Ovarian Res. 2016; 9(1):56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that circadian genes might be involved in the development of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Hyperandrogenism is a hallmark feature of PCOS. However, the effect of hyperandrogenism on circadian gene expression in human granulosa cells is unknown, and the general expression pattern of circadian genes in the human ovary is unclear.
METHODS: Expression of the circadian proteins CLOCK and PER2 in human ovaries was observed by immunohistochemistry. The mRNA expression patterns of the circadian genes CLOCK, PER2, and BMAL1, and the steroidogenesis-related genes STAR, CYP11A1, HSD3B2, and CYP19A1 in cultured human luteinized granulosa cells were analyzed over the course of 48 h after testosterone treatment by quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: Immunostaining of CLOCK and PER2 protein was detected in the granulosa cells of dominant antral follicles but was absent in the primordial, primary, or preantral follicles of human ovaries. After testosterone stimulation, expression of PER2 showed an oscillating pattern, with two peaks occurring at the 24th and 44th hours; expression of CLOCK increased significantly to the peak at the 24th hour, whereas expression of BMAL1 did not change significantly over time in human luteinized granulosa cells. Among the four steroidogenesis-related genes evaluated, only STAR displayed an oscillating expression pattern with two peaks occurring at the 24th and 40th hours after testosterone stimulation.
CONCLUSIONS: Circadian genes are expressed in the dominant antral follicles of the human ovary. Oscillating expression of the circadian gene PER2 can be induced by testosterone in human granulosa cells in vitro. Expression of STAR also displayed an oscillating pattern after testosterone stimulation. Our results indicate a potential relationship between the circadian clock and steroidogenesis in the human ovary, and demonstrate the effect of testosterone on circadian gene expression in granulosa cells.

Güven A, Polat S
Testicular Adrenal Rest Tumor in Two Brothers with a Novel Mutation in the 3-Beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase-2 Gene.
J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol. 2017; 9(1):85-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Testicular adrenal rest tumors (TART) occur frequently in adolescents and adults with 21-hydroxylase deficiency. There have been no reports of TART in children with 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency (HSD3β). Biopsy proven TART was diagnosed in a 3

Udhane SS, Dick B, Hu Q, et al.
Specificity of anti-prostate cancer CYP17A1 inhibitors on androgen biosynthesis.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016; 477(4):1005-1010 [PubMed] Related Publications
The orteronel, abiraterone and galeterone, which were developed to treat castration resistant prostate cancer, inhibit 17,20 lyase activity but little is known about their effects on adrenal androgen biosynthesis. We studied the effect of several inhibitors and found that orteronel was selective towards 17,20 lyase activity than abiraterone and galeterone. Gene expression analysis showed that galeterone altered the expression of HSD3B2 but orteronel did not change the expression of HSD3B2, CYP17A1 and AKR1C3. The CYP19A1 activity was not inhibited except by compound IV which lowered activity by 23%. Surprisingly abiraterone caused complete blockade of CYP21A2 activity. Analysis of steroid metabolome by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry revealed changes in steroid levels caused by different inhibitors. We can conclude that orteronel is a highly specific inhibitor of 17,20 lyase activity. The discovery of these specific drug actions on steroidogenic enzyme activities would be valuable for understanding the regulation of androgens.

Kubota-Nakayama F, Nakamura Y, Konosu-Fukaya S, et al.
Expression of steroidogenic enzymes and their transcription factors in cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenomas: immunohistochemical analysis and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction studies.
Hum Pathol. 2016; 54:165-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adrenal Cushing syndrome (CS) is caused by the overproduction of cortisol in adrenocortical tumors including adrenal cortisol-producing adenoma (CPA). In CS, steroidogenic enzymes such as 17α-hydroxylase/17, 20-lase (CYP17A1), 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B), and 11β-hydroxylase (CYP11B1) are abundantly expressed in tumor cells. In addition, several transcriptional factors have been reported to play pivotal roles in the regulation of these enzymes in CPA, but their correlations with those enzymes above have still remained largely unknown. Therefore, in this study, we examined the status of steroidogenic enzymes and their transcriptional factors in 78 and 15 CPA cases by using immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), respectively. Immunoreactivity of HSD3B2, CYP11B1, CYP17A1, steroidogenic factor-1 (SF1[NR5A1]), GATA6, and nerve growth factor induced-B (NGFIB[NR4A1]) was detected in tumor cells. Results of qPCR analysis revealed that expression of HSD3B2 mRNA was significantly higher than that of HSD3B1, and CYP11B1 mRNA was significantly higher than CYP11B2. In addition, the expression of CYP11B1 mRNA was positively correlated with those of NR5A1, GATA6, and NR4A1. These results all indicated that HSD3B2 but not HSD3B1 was mainly involved in cortisol overproduction in CPA. In addition, NR5A1, GATA6, and NR4A1 were all considered to play important roles in cortisol overproduction through regulating CYP11B1 gene transcription.

Fujisawa Y, Sakaguchi K, Ono H, et al.
Combined steroidogenic characters of fetal adrenal and Leydig cells in childhood adrenocortical carcinoma.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2016; 159:86-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although childhood adrenocortical carcinomas (c-ACCs) with a TP53 mutation are known to produce androgens, detailed steroidogenic characters have not been clarified. Here, we examined steroid metabolite profiles and expression patterns of steroidogenic genes in a c-ACC removed from the left adrenal position of a 2-year-old Brazilian boy with precocious puberty, using an atrophic left adrenal gland removed at the time of tumorectomy as a control. The c-ACC produced not only abundant dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate but also a large amount of testosterone via the Δ5 pathway with Δ5-androstenediol rather than Δ4-androstenedione as the primary intermediate metabolite. Furthermore, the c-ACC was associated with elevated expressions of CYP11A1, CYP17A1, POR, HSD17B3, and SULT2A1, a low but similar expression of CYB5A, and reduced expressions of AKR1C3 (HSD17B5) and HSD3B2. Notably, a Leydig cell marker INSL3 was expressed at a low but detectable level in the c-ACC. Furthermore, molecular studies revealed a maternally inherited heterozygous germline TP53 mutation, and several post-zygotic genetic aberrations in the c-ACC including loss of paternally derived chromosome 17 with a wildtype TP53 and loss of maternally inherited chromosome 11 and resultant marked hyperexpression of paternally expressed growth promoting gene IGF2 and drastic hypoexpression of maternally expressed growth suppressing gene CDKN1C. These results imply the presence of combined steroidogenic properties of fetal adrenal and Leydig cells in this patient's c-ACC with a germline TP53 mutation and several postzygotic carcinogenic events.

Sakai M, Martinez-Arguelles DB, Aprikian AG, et al.
De novo steroid biosynthesis in human prostate cell lines and biopsies.
Prostate. 2016; 76(6):575-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intratumoral androgen formation may be a factor in the development of prostate cancer (PCa), particularly castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). To evaluate the ability of the human prostate to synthesize de novo steroids, we examined the expression of key enzymes and proteins involved in steroid biosynthesis and metabolism.
METHODS: Using TissueScan™ Cancer qPCR Arrays and quantitative RT-PCR, we performed comparative gene expression analyses between various prostate cell lines and biopsies, including normal, hyperplastic, cancerous, and androgen-deprived prostate cells lines, as well as normal, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), PCa, and CRPC human specimens. These studies were complemented with steroid biosynthesis studies in normal and BPH cells.
RESULTS: Normal human prostate WPMY-1 and WPE1-NA22, benign prostate hyperplasia BPH-1, and cancer PC-3, LNCaP, and VCaP cell lines, as well as normal, BPH, PCa, and CRPC specimens, were used. Although all cell lines express mRNA encoding for hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), the mitochondrial translocator protein TSPO and cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme CYP11A1 were only observed in WPMY-1, BPH-1, and LNCaP cells. HSD3B1, HSD3B2, and CYP17A1 are involved in androgen formation and were not found in most cell lines. WPE1-NA22 and BPH-1 cells were unable to synthesize de novo steroids from mevalonate. Moreover, androgen-deprived cells did not have alterations in the expression of enzymes that could lead to de novo steroid formation. All prostate specimens expressed TSPO and CYP11A1. HSD3B1/2, CYP17A1, HSD17B5, and CYP19A1 mRNA expression was distinct to the profile observed in cells lines. The majority of BPH (90.9%) and PCa (83.1%) specimens contained CYP17A1, compared to control (normal) specimens (46.7%). BPH (82%), PCa (59%), normal (40%), and CRPC (34%) specimens expressed the four key enzymes that metabolize cholesterol to androgens.
CONCLUSION: These studies question the use of prostate cell lines to study steroid biosynthesis and demonstrate that human prostate samples contain transcripts encoding for key steroidogenic enzymes and proteins indicating that they have the potential to synthesize de novo steroids. We propose CYP17A1 as a candidate enzyme that can be used for patient stratification and treatment in BPH and PCa.

Lee BH, Indran IR, Tan HM, et al.
A Dietary Medium-Chain Fatty Acid, Decanoic Acid, Inhibits Recruitment of Nur77 to the HSD3B2 Promoter In Vitro and Reverses Endocrine and Metabolic Abnormalities in a Rat Model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Endocrinology. 2016; 157(1):382-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyperandrogenism is the central feature of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Due to the intricate relationship between hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance in PCOS, 50%-70% of these patients also present with hyperinsulinemia. Metformin, an insulin sensitizer, has been used to reduce insulin resistance and improve fertility in women with PCOS. In previous work, we have noted that a dietary medium-chain fatty acid, decanoic acid (DA), improves glucose tolerance and lipid profile in a mouse model of diabetes. Here, we report for the first time that DA, like metformin, inhibits androgen biosynthesis in NCI-H295R steroidogenic cells by regulating the enzyme 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ5-Δ4-isomerase type 2 (HSD3B2). The inhibitory effect on HSD3B2 and androgen production required cAMP stimulation, suggesting a mechanistic action via the cAMP-stimulated pathway. Specifically, both DA and metformin reduced cAMP-enhanced recruitment of the orphan nuclear receptor Nur77 to the HSD3B2 promoter, coupled with decreased transcription and protein expression of HSD3B2. In a letrozole-induced PCOS rat model, treatment with DA or metformin reduced serum-free testosterone, lowered fasting insulin, and restored estrous cyclicity. In addition, DA treatment lowered serum total testosterone and decreased HSD3B2 protein expression in the adrenals and ovaries. We conclude that DA inhibits androgen biosynthesis via mechanisms resulting in the suppression of HSD3B2 expression, an effect consistently observed both in vitro and in vivo. The efficacy of DA in reversing the endocrine and metabolic abnormalities of the letrozole-induced PCOS rat model are promising, raising the possibility that diets including DA could be beneficial for the management of both hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance in PCOS.

Assinder SJ, Davies K, Surija J, Liu-Fu F
Oxytocin differentially effects 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 5α-reductase activities in prostate cancer cell lines.
Peptides. 2015; 71:149-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is known that oxytocin stimulates steroidogenesis in several organs by modulating activity of 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (HSD3B) and steroid 5α-reductases (SRD5A). However, this has not been established in prostate cancer where these enzymes, key to local production of androgens, are increased. Analysis of both HSD3B and SRD5A activities using a live cell in situ colourimetric assay demonstrated that in PC-3 cells HSD3B activity was significantly increased by oxytocin whilst SRD5A activity was unchanged. This was confirmed in ELISA based assays of conversion of pregnenolone to progesterone and testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in cell lysates following treatment. In contrast, oxytocin significantly inhibited HSD3B activity in LNCaPs, but significantly increased activity of SRD5A, as confirmed by ELISA assays. Analysis of both cell lines by microarray and qRT-PCR determined that these changes were not due to altered gene transcription. This study demonstrates differential effects of oxytocin on the activities of key de novo steroidogenic enzymes in prostate cancer cells.

Rodríguez-Sanz M, García-Giralt N, Prieto-Alhambra D, et al.
CYP11A1 expression in bone is associated with aromatase inhibitor-related bone loss.
J Mol Endocrinol. 2015; 55(1):69-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) used as adjuvant therapy in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cause diverse musculoskeletal side effects that include bone loss and its associated fracture. About half of the 391 patients treated with AIs in the Barcelona-Aromatase induced bone loss in early breast cancer cohort suffered a significant bone loss at lumbar spine (LS) and/or femoral neck (FN) after 2 years on AI-treatment. In contrast, up to one-third (19.6% LS, 38.6% FN) showed no decline or even increased bone density. The present study aimed to determine the genetic basis for this variability. SNPs in candidate genes involved in vitamin D and estrogen hormone-response pathways (CYP11A1, CYP17A1, HSD3B2, HSD17B3, CYP19A1, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, ESR1, DHCR7, GC, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, VDR and CYP24A1) were genotyped for association analysis with AI-related bone loss (AIBL). After multiple testing correction, 3 tag-SNPs (rs4077581, s11632698 and rs900798) located in the CYP11A1 gene were significantly associated (P<0.005) with FN AIBL at 2 years of treatment. Next, CYP11A1 expression in human fresh bone tissue and primary osteoblasts was demonstrated by RT-PCR. Both common isoforms of human cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (encoded by CYP11A1 gene) were detected in osteoblasts by western blot. In conclusion, the genetic association of CYP11A1 gene with AIBL and its expression in bone tissue reveals a potential local function of this enzyme in bone metabolism regulation, offering a new vision of the steroidogenic ability of this tissue and new understanding of AI-induced bone loss.

Wu G, Huang S, Nastiuk KL, et al.
Variant allele of HSD3B1 increases progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Prostate. 2015; 75(7):777-782 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (3βHSD1), which is a rate-limiting enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of adrenal-derived steroid dehydroepiandrosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), may be a promising target for treating castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
METHODS: From 2004 to 2011, a total of 103 consecutive patients presenting with advanced prostate cancer were included in this study. All patients were treated with surgical castration as androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT). Germline DNA was extracted from archived tissue from each patient and sequenced. PSA half-time (representing rate to PSA nadir after ADT), the incidence of, and time to CRPC occurrence, and cause-specific mortality rates were determined during the 3-10 years follow-up. The perioperative data and postoperative outcomes are compared. The patients were retrospectively analyzed for survival time.
RESULTS: Of the 103 patient samples analyzed, 18 harbored a heterozygous variant (1245C) HSD3B1 gene, while 85 patients were homozygous wild-type (1245A) for HSD3B1. The two groups were homogenous for age, PSA, Gleason and metastases rate preoperatively. The incidence of CRPC observed in the variant group was significantly higher than that of wild-type group (100% vs. 64.7%, respectively; P = 0.003). Despite this higher incidence of CRPC, there were no significant differences in time to develop CRPC, or in cause-specific mortality. Further, neither PSA half-time, nor time to biochemical recurrence were different between the variant and wild-type groups.
CONCLUSION: Prostate cancer patients who harbored the heterozygous variant HSD3B1 (1245C) are more likely to develop to CRPC, but do not have shorter time to biochemical recurrence, shorter survival time or higher mortality risk.

Konosu-Fukaya S, Nakamura Y, Satoh F, et al.
3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase isoforms in human aldosterone-producing adenoma.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2015; 408:205-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It has become important to evaluate the possible involvement of 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD3B1) and 2 (HSD3B2) isoforms in aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA). In this study, we studied 67 and 100 APA cases using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Results of qPCR analysis demonstrated that HSD3B2 mRNA was significantly more abundant than HSD3B1 mRNA (P < 0.0001), but only HSD3B1 mRNA significantly correlated with CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) mRNA (P <0.0001) and plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) of the patients (P <0.0001). Results of immunohistochemistry subsequently revealed that HSD3B2 immunoreactivity was detected in the great majority of APA but a significant correlation was also detected between HSD3B1 and CYP11B2 (P <0.0001). In KCNJ5 mutated APA, CYP11B2 mRNA (P <0.0001) and HSD3B1 mRNA (P = 0.011) were significantly higher than those of wild type APA. These results suggest that HSD3B1 is involved in aldosterone production, despite its lower levels of expression compared with HSD3B2, and also possibly associated with KCNJ5 mutation in APA.

Hevir-Kene N, Rižner TL
The endometrial cancer cell lines Ishikawa and HEC-1A, and the control cell line HIEEC, differ in expression of estrogen biosynthetic and metabolic genes, and in androstenedione and estrone-sulfate metabolism.
Chem Biol Interact. 2015; 234:309-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
Estrogens have important roles in the pathogenesis of endometrial cancer. They can have carcinogenic effects through stimulation of cell proliferation or formation of DNA-damaging species. To characterize model cell lines of endometrial cancer, we determined the expression profiles of the estrogen receptors (ERs) ESR1, ESR2 and GPER, and 23 estrogen biosynthetic and metabolic genes, and investigated estrogen biosynthesis in the control HIEEC cell line and the Ishikawa and HEC-1A EC cell lines. HIEEC and Ishikawa expressed all ERs to different extents, while HEC-1A cells lacked expression of ESR1. Considering the estrogen biosynthetic and metabolic enzymes, these cells showed statistically significant different gene expression profiles for SULT2B1, HSD3B2, CYP19A1, AKR1C3, HSD17B1, HSD17B7, HSD17B12, CYP1B1, CYP3A5, COMT, SULT1A1, GSTP1 and NQO2. In these cells, E2 was formed from E1S and E1, while androstenedione was not converted to estrogens. HIEEC and Ishikawa had similar profiles of androstenedione and E1 metabolism, but hydrolysis of E1S to E1 was weaker in Ishikawa cells. HEC-1A cells were less efficient for activation of E1 into the potent E2, but metabolized androstenedione to other androgenic metabolites better than HIEEC and Ishikawa cells. This study reveals that HIEEC, Ishikawa, and HEC-1A cells can all form estrogens only via the sulfatase pathway. HIEEC, Ishikawa, and HEC-1A cells expressed all the major genes in the production of hydroxyestrogens and estrogen quinones, and in their conjugation. Significantly higher CYP1B1 mRNA levels in Ishikawa cells compared to HEC-1A cells, together with lack of UGT2B7 expression, indicate that Ishikawa cells can accumulate more toxic estrogen-3,4-quinones than HEC-1A cells, as also for HIEEC cells. This study provides further characterization of HIEEC, Ishikawa, and HEC-1A cells, and shows that they differ greatly in expression of the genes investigated and in their capacity for E2 formation, and thus they represent different in vitro models.

Jernberg E, Thysell E, Bovinder Ylitalo E, et al.
Characterization of prostate cancer bone metastases according to expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes and androgen receptor splice variants.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e77407 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intra-tumoral steroidogenesis and constitutive androgen receptor (AR) activity have been associated with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This study aimed to examine if CRPC bone metastases expressed higher levels of steroid-converting enzymes than untreated bone metastases. Steroidogenic enzyme levels were also analyzed in relation to expression of constitutively active AR variants (AR-Vs) and to clinical and pathological variables.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Untreated, hormone-naïve (HN, n = 9) and CRPC bone metastases samples (n = 45) were obtained from 54 patients at metastasis surgery. Non-malignant and malignant prostate samples were acquired from 13 prostatectomy specimens. Transcript and protein levels were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. No differences in steroidogenic enzyme levels were detected between CRPC and HN bone metastases. Significantly higher levels of SRD5A1, AKR1C2, AKR1C3, and HSD17B10 mRNA were however found in bone metastases than in non-malignant and/or malignant prostate tissue, while the CYP11A1, CYP17A1, HSD3B2, SRD5A2, and HSD17B6 mRNA levels in metastases were significantly lower. A sub-group of metastases expressed very high levels of AKR1C3, which was not due to gene amplification as examined by copy number variation assay. No association was found between AKR1C3 expression and nuclear AR staining, tumor cell proliferation or patient outcome after metastases surgery. With only one exception, high AR-V protein levels were found in bone metastases with low AKR1C3 levels, while metastases with high AKR1C3 levels primarily contained low AR-V levels, indicating distinct mechanisms behind castration-resistance in individual bone metastases.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Induced capacity of converting adrenal-gland derived steroids into more potent androgens was indicated in a sub-group of PC bone metastases. This was not associated with CRPC but merely with the advanced stage of metastasis. Sub-groups of bone metastases could be identified according to their expression levels of AKR1C3 and AR-Vs, which might be of relevance for patient response to 2(nd) line androgen-deprivation therapy.

Szabó DR, Baghy K, Szabó PM, et al.
Antitumoral effects of 9-cis retinoic acid in adrenocortical cancer.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014; 71(5):917-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The currently available medical treatment options of adrenocortical cancer (ACC) are limited. In our previous meta-analysis of adrenocortical tumor genomics data, ACC was associated with reduced retinoic acid production and retinoid X receptor-mediated signaling. Our objective has been to study the potential antitumoral effects of 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cisRA) on the ACC cell line NCI-H295R and in a xenograft model. Cell proliferation, hormone secretion, and gene expression have been studied in the NCI-H295R cell line. A complex bioinformatics approach involving pathway and network analysis has been performed. Selected genes have been validated by real-time qRT-PCR. Athymic nude mice xenografted with NCI-H295R have been used in a pilot in vivo xenograft model. 9-cisRA significantly decreased cell viability and steroid hormone secretion in a concentration- and time-dependent manner in the NCI-H295R cell line. Four major molecular pathways have been identified by the analysis of gene expression data. Ten genes have been successfully validated involved in: (1) steroid hormone secretion (HSD3B1, HSD3B2), (2) retinoic acid signaling (ABCA1, ABCG1, HMGCR), (3) cell-cycle damage (GADD45A, CCNE2, UHRF1), and the (4) immune response (MAP2K6, IL1R2). 9-cisRA appears to directly regulate the cell cycle by network analysis. 9-cisRA also reduced tumor growth in the in vivo xenograft model. In conclusion, 9-cisRA might represent a promising new candidate in the treatment of hormone-secreting adrenal tumors and adrenocortical cancer.

Andrew AS, Hu T, Gu J, et al.
HSD3B and gene-gene interactions in a pathway-based analysis of genetic susceptibility to bladder cancer.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(12):e51301 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bladder cancer is the 4(th) most common cancer among men in the U.S. We analyzed variant genotypes hypothesized to modify major biological processes involved in bladder carcinogenesis, including hormone regulation, apoptosis, DNA repair, immune surveillance, metabolism, proliferation, and telomere maintenance. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between genetic variation affecting these processes and susceptibility in 563 genotyped urothelial cell carcinoma cases and 863 controls enrolled in a case-control study of incident bladder cancer conducted in New Hampshire, U.S. We evaluated gene-gene interactions using Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (MDR) and Statistical Epistasis Network analysis. The 3'UTR flanking variant form of the hormone regulation gene HSD3B2 was associated with increased bladder cancer risk in the New Hampshire population (adjusted OR 1.85 95%CI 1.31-2.62). This finding was successfully replicated in the Texas Bladder Cancer Study with 957 controls, 497 cases (adjusted OR 3.66 95%CI 1.06-12.63). The effect of this prevalent SNP was stronger among males (OR 2.13 95%CI 1.40-3.25) than females (OR 1.56 95%CI 0.83-2.95), (SNP-gender interaction P = 0.048). We also identified a SNP-SNP interaction between T-cell activation related genes GATA3 and CD81 (interaction P = 0.0003). The fact that bladder cancer incidence is 3-4 times higher in males suggests the involvement of hormone levels. This biologic process-based analysis suggests candidate susceptibility markers and supports the theory that disrupted hormone regulation plays a role in bladder carcinogenesis.

Arai S, Shibata Y, Nakamura Y, et al.
Development of prostate cancer in a patient with primary hypogonadism: intratumoural steroidogenesis in prostate cancer tissues.
Andrology. 2013; 1(1):169-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intratumoural steroidogenesis may play a significant role in the progression of prostate cancer (PC) in the context of long-term ablation of circulating testosterone (T). To clarify the mechanism accounting for the progression of PC in a 74-year-old man who had undergone bilateral orchiectomy when he was 5 years old, we performed immunohistochemical studies of androgen receptor (AR) and steroidogenic enzymes in the prostate. We also measured steroid hormone levels in the serum and prostate, as well as mRNA levels of genes mediating androgen metabolism in the prostate. Positive nuclear staining of AR was detected in malignant epithelial cells. The levels of androstenedione (Adione), T, and 5-alpha dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the serum of the patient were similar to those in PC patients receiving neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), but were higher in the patient's prostate than in PC patients not receiving ADT. The gene expression of CYP17A1 and HSD3B1 was not detected, whereas that of STS, HSD3B2, AKR1C3, SRD5A1, and SRD5A2 was detected. Moreover, cytoplasmic staining of HSD3B2, AKR1C3, SRD5A1, and SRD5A2 was detected in malignant epithelial cells. Hence, in the present case (a man with primary hypogonadism), steroidogenesis in PC tissues from adrenal androgens, especially dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, was the mechanism accounting for progression of PC. This mechanism might help elucidate the development of castration-resistant PC.

Sakuma I, Suematsu S, Matsuzawa Y, et al.
Characterization of steroidogenic enzyme expression in aldosterone-producing adenoma: a comparison with various human adrenal tumors.
Endocr J. 2013; 60(3):329-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
We analyzed the expression profiles of several steroidogenic enzymes in normal adrenals, aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA), cortisol-producing adenomas combined with Cushing's syndrome (CPA) or with subclinical Cushing's syndrome (SCPA), and nonfunctioning adrenal adenomas (NFA) to clarify the nature and characteristics of steroidogenesis in APA. Clinical data were collected for all subjects. In resected adrenal glands (normal adrenals, APA, CPA, SCPA, and NFA), the mRNA expression levels of the CYP17, HSD3B2, CYP11B1, and CYP11B2 genes were studied using real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry. The CYP11B2 mRNA level in APA was significantly higher than that in other groups. The CYP17/HSD3B2 ratio for mRNA in APA was significantly lower than those in the other groups. Low ratio of CYP17/HSD3B2 with high expression of CYP11B2 seems to explain steroidogenic characteristics of APA.

Sinreih M, Hevir N, Rižner TL
Altered expression of genes involved in progesterone biosynthesis, metabolism and action in endometrial cancer.
Chem Biol Interact. 2013; 202(1-3):210-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endometrial cancer (EC) is one of the most common gynecological malignancies worldwide. It is associated with prolonged exposure to estrogens that is unopposed by the protective effects of progesterone, which suggests that altered progesterone biosynthesis, metabolism and actions might be implicated in the development of EC. Our aim was to evaluate these processes through quantitative real-time PCR expression analysis in up to 47 pairs of EC tissue and adjacent control endometrium. First, we examined the expression of genes encoding proteins associated with progesterone biosynthesis: steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR); a side chain cleavage enzyme (CYP11A1); and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/ketosteroid isomerase (HSD3B). There were 1.9- and 10.0-fold decreased expression of STAR and CYP11A1, respectively, in EC versus adjacent control endometrium, with no significant differences in the expression of HSD3B1 and HSD3B2. Next, we examined expression of genes encoding five progesterone metabolizing enzymes: the 3-keto and 20-ketosteroid reductases (AKR1C1-AKR1C3) and 5α-reductases (SRD5A1 and SRD5A2); and the opposing 20α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD17B2). These genes are expressed in EC and adjacent control endometrium. No statistically significant differences were seen in mRNA levels of AKR1C1, AKR1C2, AKR1C3 and SRD5A1. Expression of HSD17B2 was 3.0-fold increased, and expression of SRD5A2 was 3.7-fold decreased, in EC versus adjacent control endometrium. We also examined mRNA levels of progesterone receptors A and B (PGR), and separately the expression of progesterone receptor B (PR-B). Here we saw 1.8- and 2.0-fold lower mRNA levels of PGR and PR-B, respectively, in EC versus adjacent control endometrium. This down-regulation of STAR, CYP11A1 and PGR in endometrial cancer may lead to decreased progesterone biosynthesis and actions although the effects on progesterone levels should be further studied.

Ndossi DG, Frizzell C, Tremoen NH, et al.
An in vitro investigation of endocrine disrupting effects of trichothecenes deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 and HT-2 toxins.
Toxicol Lett. 2012; 214(3):268-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Trichothecenes are a large family of chemically related mycotoxins. Deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 and HT-2 toxins belong to this family and are produced by various species of Fusarium. The H295R steroidogenesis assay, regulation of steroidogenic gene expression and reporter gene assays (RGAs) for the detection of androgen, estrogen, progestagen and glucocorticoid (ant)agonist responses, have been used to assess the endocrine disrupting activity of DON, T-2 and HT-2 toxins. H295R cells were used as a model for steroidogenesis and gene expression studies and exposed with either DON (0.1-1000ng/ml), T-2 toxin (0.0005-5ng/ml) or HT-2 toxin (0.005-50ng/ml) for 48h. We observed a reduction in hormone levels in media of exposed cells following radioimmunoassay. Cell viability was determined by four colorimetric assays and we observed reduced cell viability with increasing toxin concentrations partly explaining the significant reduction in hormone levels at the highest toxin concentration of all three trichothecenes. Thirteen of the 16 steroidogenic genes analyzed by quantitative real time PCR (RT-qPCR) were significantly regulated (P<0.05) by DON (100ng/ml), T-2 toxin (0.5ng/ml) and HT-2 toxin (5ng/ml) compared to the control, with reference genes (B2M, ATP5B and ACTB). Whereas HMGR and CYP19 were down-regulated, CYP1A1 and CYP21 were up-regulated by all three trichothecenes. DON further up-regulated CYP17, HSD3B2, CYP11B2 and CYP11B1 and down-regulated NR5A1. T-2 toxin caused down-regulation of NR0B1 and NR5A1 whereas HT-2 toxin induced up-regulation of EPHX and HSD17B1 and down-regulation of CYP11A and CYP17. The expressions of MC2R, StAR and HSD17B4 genes were not significantly affected by any of the trichothecenes in the present study. Although the results indicate that there is no evidence to suggest that DON, T-2 and HT-2 toxins directly interact with the steroid hormone receptors to cause endocrine disruption, the present findings indicate that exposure to DON, T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin have effects on cell viability, steroidogenesis and alteration in gene expression indicating their potential as endocrine disruptors.

Zsippai A, Szabó DR, Tömböl Z, et al.
Effects of mitotane on gene expression in the adrenocortical cell line NCI-H295R: a microarray study.
Pharmacogenomics. 2012; 13(12):1351-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The adrenolytic agent mitotane is widely used in the treatment of adrenocortical cancer; however, its mechanism of action is poorly elucidated. We have studied mitotane-induced mRNA expression changes in the NCI-H295R adrenocortical cancer cell line.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Cell viability and hormone assays were used to select the optimal mitotane concentration effectively inhibiting hormone secretion without affecting cell viability. RNA isolated from cultures treated for 48 and 72 h was subjected to Agilent 4×44K microarray platforms. Microarray results were validated by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR.
RESULTS: Altogether, 117 significantly differentially expressed genes were detected at 48 h and 72 h (p < 0.05) in mitotane-treated samples relative to controls. Three significantly underexpressed genes involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis (HSD3B1, HSD3B2 and CYP21A2) and four significantly overexpressed genes (GDF15, ALDH1L2, TRIB3 and SERPINE2) have been validated.
CONCLUSION: Gene-expression changes might be involved in the adrenal action of mitotane and in the inhibition of hormone secretion.

Yamada M, Nakajima Y, Taguchi R, et al.
KCNJ5 mutations in aldosterone- and cortisol-co-secreting adrenal adenomas.
Endocr J. 2012; 59(8):735-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adrenal aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA) are rarely associated with the clear co-secretion of cortisol. Somatic mutations of the potassium channel KCNJ5 gene, with the hotspots G151R and L168R, have been recently identified in patients with APA. However, whether APAs that secrete cortisol have these mutations remains unclear. We examined three patients with APAs showing clear autonomous secretion of cortisol who possessed a 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST) with a failure of the serum cortisol level to drop below 3.0 μg/dL, a morning plasma ACTH level of less than 10 pg/mL, and suppressed accumulation in the intact adrenal on (131)I- adosterol scintigraphy, or postoperative adrenal insufficiency. Laparoscopic adrenectomy revealed all tumors to be golden yellow, and histological examination confirmed them to be adrenocortical adenomas. All these patients required replacement therapy with hydrocortisone after surgery. Sequencing demonstrated that 2 of three cases showed a mutation of the KCNJ5 gene, one with c.451G>A, p.G151R and one with c.503T>G, p.L168R. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of steroidogenic enzymes including CYP11B1, CYP11B2, HSD3B2, CYP17A1, CYP11A1 and KCNJ5 in the 3 cases did not differ from those in 8 pure APAs not showing any of the above conditions for autonomous cortisol secretion. In addition, all 8 pure APAs harbored mutations of the KCNJ5 gene. These findings suggested that at least some aldosterone- and cortisol-co-secreting adrenal tumors have mutations of the KCNJ5 gene, suggesting the origin to be APA, and pure APAs may show a high incidence of KCNJ5 mutations.

Lin CW, Chang YH, Pu HF
Mitotane exhibits dual effects on steroidogenic enzymes gene transcription under basal and cAMP-stimulating microenvironments in NCI-H295 cells.
Toxicology. 2012; 298(1-3):14-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an extremely rare and aggressive endocrine malignancy with a poor prognosis. The most common symptom of ACC is hypercortisolism (Cushing's syndrome), which has the highest mortality. Mitotane is used as a steroidogenesis inhibitor for Cushing's syndrome or as a chemical adrenalectomy drug for ACC. Mitotane induces adrenal cortex necrosis, mitochondrial membrane impairment, and irreversible binding to CYP proteins. In this study, we explored the molecular effect of mitotane on steroidogenesis in human adrenocortical cancer NCI-H295 cells. Mitotane (10-40μM) inhibited basal and cAMP-induced cortisol secretion but did not cause cell death. Mitotane exhibited an inhibitory effect on the basal expression of StAR and P450scc protein. Furthermore, 40μM of mitotane significantly diminished StAR, CYP11A1 and CYP21 mRNA expression. HSD3B2 and CYP17 seem to be insensitive to mitotane. The stimulatory effects of mitotane on CYP11B1 were more remarkable than its inhibitory effects. In contrast, the activation of cAMP signaling strongly elevated the expression of all these genes. Mitotane (40μM) almost completely neutralized this positive effect and returned 8-Br-cAMP-induced StAR, CYP11A1, CYP17 and CYP21 mRNA to control levels. After cAMP activation, mitotane did not change the levels of CYP11B1 mRNA. The present study demonstrates that mitotane can inhibit cortisol biosynthesis due to a non-specific interference with the gene transcription of steroidogenic enzymes under both basal and 8-Br-cAMP-activated conditions in NCI-H295 cells. We also identified that StAR and CYP11A1 key enzymes that participate in the rate-limiting step of steroidogenesis, were more sensitive to mitotane. In addition, the biphasic effect of mitotane on CYP11B1 was also elucidated.

Chen F, Zhang Q, Wang C, et al.
Enantioselectivity in estrogenicity of the organochlorine insecticide acetofenate in human trophoblast and MCF-7 cells.
Reprod Toxicol. 2012; 33(1):53-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies have showed that some chiral pesticides with estrogenic activity possess enantioselectivity in endocrine disruption. Despite the assessment of enantioselectivity in the estrogenic potential of chiral pesticides, which deserve particular attention, there has been limited research into their molecular mechanisms of human health risk. In this study, the role of enantioselectivity in the endocrine disruption and potential human maternal-fetal health risk of acetofenate (AF), an organochlorine insecticide, were investigated in both MCF-7 and JEG-3 cells. The two in vitro assays showing a clear enantioselectivity in the estrogenic activity with S-(+)-AF showed stronger effects than R-(-)-AF and rac-AF. Moreover, the racemate's estrogenicity was in between that of enantiomers. Our results also demonstrated that S-(+)-AF possesses the strongest potential effects in disruption of hormone secretion, maternal immune tolerance, and steroidogenesis in the trophoblast. The results suggest that assessment of the health risk of chiral contaminants should consider the role of enantioselectivity.

Karashima S, Takeda Y, Cheng Y, et al.
Clinical characteristics of primary hyperaldosteronism due to adrenal microadenoma.
Steroids. 2011; 76(12):1363-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
An increasing number of patients are being diagnosed with primary aldosteronism (PA) due to aldosterone-producing macroadenoma (APA). However, there are only limited data available on the clinical characteristics of PA that are associated with adrenal microadenoma. Of the 55 patients that were diagnosed with PA in our study, 22 patients showed a unilateral adrenal over-production of aldosterone. The histopathology of the surgically removed adrenal tissues led to six patients being diagnosed with microadenoma, and the clinical features of microadenoma, macroadenoma and idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA) were studied. The expression levels of CYP11B2, CYP17, CYP21 and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (HSD3B2) mRNA in the adrenal cortices (n=5 and 6, respectively) that remained attached to the adrenal microadenomas or macroadenomas were examined by real time-PCR and then compared to the expression levels in the adrenal cortices (n=5) of non-functioning adrenal adenomas (NF). The patients with microadenoma (n=6) had significantly higher diastolic blood pressure than the patients with macroadenoma (n=16) or IHA (n=33) (p<0.05). The systolic blood pressure, plasma aldosterone concentration, serum potassium level and renal function did not differ between the PA sub-groups. The levels of CYP11B2 and CYP17 mRNA were significantly increased in the adjacent tissues of microadenomas, as compared with macroadenomas or NF (p<0.05), whereas no significant differences in the CYP21 and HSD3B2 mRNA levels were found between the PA sub-groups. The tumor size did not influence the clinical characteristics of APA. The non-tumor portions of the microadenomas showed marked and sustained CYP11B2 mRNA expression under the suppressed renin-angiotensin system. We suggest that an increased number of microadenomas should be sampled, and the immunohistochemistry for steoridogenic enzymes should be investigated to clarify the etiology of microadenoma.

Hong MY, Henning S, Moro A, et al.
Chinese red yeast rice inhibition of prostate tumor growth in SCID mice.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011; 4(4):608-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer is a slowly developing but very common cancer in males that may be amenable to preventive strategies that are not toxic. Chinese red yeast rice (RYR), a food herb made by fermenting Monascus purpureus Went yeast on white rice, contains a mixture of eight different monacolins that inhibit cholesterogenesis in addition to red pigments with antioxidant properties. Monacolin K is identical to lovastatin (LV), but LV unlike RYR can be used in individuals intolerant to statins due to muscle pain. Both LV and RYR inhibit de novo cholesterogenesis, which is critical to the growth of tumor cells. Long-term use of statin drugs has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. We have previously shown that RYR inhibited androgen-dependent and androgen receptor-overexpressing androgen-independent prostate cancer cell proliferation in vitro. This study was designed to determine whether RYR and LV inhibit prostate tumor growth in SCID mice. RYR significantly reduced tumor volumes of androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate xenograft tumors compared with animals receiving vehicle alone (P < 0.05). Inhibition by RYR was greater than that observed with LV at the dose found in RYR, showing that other compounds in RYR contributed to the antiproliferative effect. There was a significant correlation of tumor volume to serum cholesterol (P < 0.001). RYR decreased gene expression of androgen synthesizing enzymes (HSD3B2, AKR1C3, and SRD5A1) in both type of tumors (P < 0.05). Clinical studies of RYR for prostate cancer prevention in the increasing population of men undergoing active surveillance should be considered.

Ramayya MS, Sheng M, Moroz K, et al.
Human steroidogenic factor-1 (hSF-1) regulates progesterone biosynthesis and growth of ovarian surface epithelial cancer cells.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010; 119(1-2):14-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
The majority of cancers derived from ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cells are lethal. Estrogens promote proliferation of OSE cells, whereas progesterone inhibits proliferation and promotes apoptosis of OSE cells. Human steroidogenic factor-1 (hSF-1) induction of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) gene, and the steroidogenic enzymes CYP11A1 and HSD3B2 is central to progesterone biosynthesis. Whereas hSF-1 and StAR are expressed in human ovarian surface epithelial (HOSE) cells, hSF-1 and StAR protein were not expressed in a panel of malignant ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV-3, BG-1, and Caov-3), and in human OSE cells immortalized by SV40 large T antigen (IOSE-121). Transient expression of hSF-1 in SKOV-3 cells activated the expression of StAR, p450scc and 3betaHSD-II mRNAs, and induced progesterone biosynthesis. Additionally, hSF-1 suppressed proliferation and promoted apoptosis of SKOV-3 cells and suppressed SKOV-3 cell growth induced by ERalpha and estradiol. These findings suggest that hSF-1 is central to progesterone biosynthesis in OSE cells. Human SF-1 may decrease OSE cancer cell numbers directly by apoptosis, and indirectly by opposing estradiol-induced proliferation. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis, that down-regulation of hSF-1 contributes to progression of ovarian epithelial cancers.

Chun JY, Nadiminty N, Dutt S, et al.
Interleukin-6 regulates androgen synthesis in prostate cancer cells.
Clin Cancer Res. 2009; 15(15):4815-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The standard systemic treatment for prostate cancer patients is androgen deprivation therapy. Although serum testosterone concentrations were significantly reduced after androgen deprivation therapy, levels of intraprostatic androgens are reproducibly measured at concentrations sufficient to activate androgen receptor and stimulate tumor growth, suggesting that prostate cancer cells may survive androgen deprivation therapies by increasing intracrine androgen synthesis within the prostate. However, factors that regulate de novo intracrine androgen synthesis have not been identified. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been implicated in the modulation of androgen receptor activation and growth and differentiation in prostate cancer. In this study, we investigate whether IL-6 regulates intraprostatic androgen synthesis in prostate cancer cells.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and Western blotting were done to detect expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes. AKR1C3 promoter reporter was constructed and analyzed for IL-6-mediated AKR1C3 transcriptional activity. IL-6-mediated signaling was knocked down using small interfering RNA specific to IL-6 receptor and gp130, and the effect on AKR1C3 expression was examined. Intraprostatic androgen levels in prostate cancer cells in culture and in tumors were measured by an enzyme immunoassay (Testosterone EIA kit).
RESULTS: We found that IL-6 increases the expression of genes encoding many steroidogenic enzymes, including HSD3B2 and AKR1C3, involved in androgen biosynthesis. Down-regulation of IL-6 receptor and gp130 expression using specific small interfering RNA abolished IL-6-mediated AKR1C3 expression, suggesting that IL-6 signaling is responsible for AKR1C3 expression. IL-6 increases AKR1C3 promoter activity, indicating that the increase in IL-6-mediated AKR1C3 expression is in part at the transcriptional level. Treatment of IL-6 increased testosterone level in LNCaP cells. The tumor testosterone levels were detected at 378 pg/g in tumors generated from IL-6-overexpressing LNCaP-IL6(+) cells inoculated orthotopically into the prostates of castrated male nude mice.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that IL-6 increases levels of intracrine androgens through enhanced expression of genes mediating androgen metabolism in prostate cancer cells.

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