Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Rev Reprod. 1999 Sep;4(3):179-83.

Male and female isoenzymes of steroid 5alpha-reductase.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-9046, USA.


There are two steroid 5alpha-reductase isoenzymes, designated type 1 and type 2, in mammals and recent experiments show that each plays a unique physiological role. In this article, the hypothesis is developed that the type 1 gene specifies a female isoenzyme, whereas the type 2 gene specifies a male isoenzyme. This idea results from the following observations. First, mutation of the 5alpha-reductase type 1 gene in mice affects reproduction in females by decreasing fecundity and blocking parturition, but has no effect on reproduction in males. Second, mutation of the 5alpha-reductase type 2 gene in mice and men prevents proper virilization but does not affect development or reproductive function in females. Analyses of these diverse phenotypes indicate that the isoenzymes catalyse both anabolic and catabolic reactions in steroid hormone metabolism.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk