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J Biol Chem. 1991 Sep 5;266(25):16653-8.

The human gene for 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Structure, tissue distribution, and chromosomal localization.

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Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, New York 10021.


The Type I (mineralocorticoid) receptor has identical affinities in vitro for cortisol and aldosterone. It has been suggested that the selective role of aldosterone in regulating sodium homeostasis relies on the microsomal enzyme 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11-HSD). This enzyme converts cortisol to its inactive metabolite, cortisone, preventing cortisol from binding to the Type I receptor. We have isolated human cDNA clones encoding 11-HSD from a human testis cDNA library by hybridization with a previously isolated rat 11-HSD cDNA clone. The cDNA contains an open reading frame of 876 bases, which predicts a protein of 292 amino acids. The sequence is 77% identical at the amino acid level to rat 11-HSD cDNA. The mRNA is widely expressed, but the level of expression is highest in the liver. Hybridization of the human 11-HSD cDNA to a human-hamster hybrid cell panel localized the single corresponding HSD11 gene to chromosome 1. This gene was isolated from a chromosome 1 specific library using the cDNA as a probe. HSD11 consists of 6 exons and is at least 9 kilobases long. The data developed in this study should be applicable to the study of patients with hypertension due to apparent mineralocorticoid excess, a deficiency in 11-HSD activity.

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