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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1993 Dec;46(6):673-9.

Molecular cloning of multiple cDNAs encoding human enzymes structurally related to 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021.


Rat liver 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase cDNA was previously cloned by us. In this study, we used the rat cDNA as the probe to screen a human liver lambda gt11 cDNA library. A total of four different cDNAs were identified and sequenced. The sequence of one of the cDNAs is identical to that of the human chlordecone reductase cDNA except that our clone contains a much longer 5'-coding sequence than previously reported. The other three cDNAs display high degrees of sequence homology to those of both rat 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and human chlordecone reductase. Because 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and human chlordecone reductase belong to the aldo-keto reductase superfamily, we named these human clones HAKRa to HAKRd. Northern blot analysis showed that the liver expresses the highest levels of all four clones. Expression of all four clones was also detected in the brain, kidney, lung, and testis, whereas the placenta expressed only the messenger RNA for HAKRb. Genomic blot analysis using HAKRb as the probe detected multiple DNA fragments hybridized to the probe and a high degree of restriction fragment length polymorphism, suggesting the complexity of this supergene family.

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