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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Dec;9(10):412-8.

The acute regulation of mineralocorticoid biosynthesis: scenarios for the StAR system.

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Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital, Geneva 14, Switzerland.


The zona glomerulosa cell of the adrenal cortex produces mineralocorticoids in response to physiological stimuli (angiotensin II and extracellular K(+)) activating the Ca(2+) messenger system. The mechanisms underlying the generation of the Ca(2+) signal have been analyzed extensively and recent developments have contributed to bridging the gap between intracellular signals and activation of the biological function. This article summarizes the current knowledge on the intracellular targets of the Ca(2+) messenger, obtained mainly in bovine glomerulosa cells. Ca(2+) appears to exert a dual effect, both at the intramitochondrial level and at the nuclear level, where it activates steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) gene transcription.


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