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Mol Cell Biochem. 2000 Oct;213(1-2):127-35.

Cytochrome P450 3A9 catalyzes the metabolism of progesterone and other steroid hormones.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical School, Houston 77225, USA.


The catalytic requirements and the role of P450 3A9, a female-specific isoform of CYP3A from rat brain, in the metabolism of several steroid hormones were studied using recombinant P450 3A9 protein. The optimal steroid hormone hydroxylase activities of P450 3A9 required cholate but not cytochrome b5. P450 3A9 was active in the hydroxylation reactions of testosterone, androstenedione, progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). No activity of P450 3A9 toward cortisol was detectable under our reconstitution conditions. Among all the steroid hormones examined, female-specific P450 3A9 seemed to catalyze most efficiently the metabolism of progesterone, one of the major female hormones, to form three mono-hydroxylated products, 6beta-, 16alpha-, and 21-hydroxyprogesterone. Our data also showed that P450 3A9 can catalyze the formation of a dihydroxy product, 4-pregnen-6beta, 21-diol-3, 20-dione, from progesterone with a turnover number, 1.3 nmol/min/nmol P450. Based on the Vmax/Km values for P450 3A9 using either 21-hydroxprogesterone or 6beta-hydroxyprogesterone as a substrate, 4-pregnen-6beta, 21-diol-3, 20-dione may be formed either by 6beta-hydroxylation of 21-hydroxprogesterone or 21-hydroxylation of 6beta-hydroxyprogesterone. As a major isoform of CYP3A expressed in rat brain, the activities of P450 3A9 toward two major neurosteroids, progesterone and DHEA suggested a possible role for P450 3A9 in the metabolism of neurosteroids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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