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Drug News Perspect. 2004 Nov;17(9):563-78.

The roles of aldo-keto reductases in steroid hormone action.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3620 Hamilton Walk, 135 John Morgan Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


The human aldo-keto reductase 1C (AKR1C) isozymes are implicated in the pre-receptor regulation of steroid receptors, nuclear orphan receptors and membrane-bound ligand-gated ion channels. Human AKR members that may regulate the local concentration of steroid hormones include: AKR1C1, AKR1C2, AKR1C3, AKR1C4 and AKR1D1. Since, these enzymes are pluripotent, the physiological role for the human AKR1C isozymes is determined by their tissue-specific expression patterns and their substrate availability in target tissues. AKRs work in concert with short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases as switches to control ligand access to nuclear receptors. Consequently, they are potential targets in treating prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometriosis and endometrial cancer.

Copyright 2004 Prous Science. All rights reserved.

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