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

Function, gene organization and protein structures of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase isoforms.

Enzymatic interconversion of active and inactive glucocorticoid hormone is important, and is carried out physiologically by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-HSD) isoforms, explaining their role in cellular and toxicological processes. Two forms of the enzyme, 11beta-HSD-1 and 11beta-HSD-2, belonging to the protein superfamily of short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases, have been structurally and functionally characterised. Although displaying dehydrogenase and reductase activities in vitro, the dominant in vivo function of the type-1 enzyme might be to work as a reductase, thus generating active cortisol from inactive cortisone precursors. On the other hand, for adrenal glucocorticoids the type-2 enzyme seems to be exclusively a dehydrogenase and, by inactivating glucocorticoids, confers specificity to peripheral mineralocorticoid receptors.[1]


  1. Function, gene organization and protein structures of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase isoforms. Oppermann, U.C., Persson, B., Jörnvall, H. Eur. J. Biochem. (1997) [Pubmed]
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