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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Metabolism of 19-methyl-substituted steroids by human placental aromatase.

The 19-methyl analogues of androstenedione and its aromatization intermediates (19-hydroxyandrostenedione and 19-oxoandrostenedione) were evaluated as substrates of microsomal aromatase in order to determine the effect of a 19-alkyl substituent on the enzyme's regiospecificity. Neither the androstenedione analogue [10-ethylestr-4-ene-3,17-dione (1c)] nor the 19-oxoandrostenedione analogue [10-acetylestr-4-ene-3,17-dione (3c)] was converted to estrogens or oxygenated metabolites by placental microsomes. In contrast, both analogues of 19-hydroxyandrostenedione [10-[(1S)-1-hydroxyethyl]estr-4-ene-3,17-dione (2c) and 10-[(1R)-1-hydroxyethyl]estr-4-ene-3,17-dione (2e)] were converted to the intermediate analogue 3c in a process requiring O2 and either NADH or NADPH. No change in enzyme regiospecificity was detected. The absolute configuration of 2e was determined by X-ray crystallography. Experiments with 18O2 established that 3c generated from 2c retained little 18O (less than 3%), while 3c arising from 2e retained a significant amount of 18O (approximately equal to 70%). All four 19-methyl steroids elicited type I difference spectra from placental microsomes in addition to acting as competitive inhibitors of aromatase (KI = 81 nM, 11 microM, 9.9 microM, and 150 nM for 1c, 2c, 2e, and 3c, respectively). Pretreatment of microsomes with 4-hydroxyandrostenedione (a suicide inactivator of aromatase) abolished the metabolism of 2c and 2e to 3c, as well as the type I difference spectrum elicited by 2c and 2e.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Metabolism of 19-methyl-substituted steroids by human placental aromatase. Beusen, D.D., Carrell, H.L., Covey, D.F. Biochemistry (1987) [Pubmed]
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