Xenopus laevis CYP17 regulates androgen biosynthesis independent of the cofactor cytochrome b5.
The enzyme CYP17 primarily regulates androgen production by mediating four reactions: conversion of pregnenolone and progesterone to 17-hydroxypregnenolone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone, respectively (17alpha-hydroxylase activity), followed by conversion of the 17-hydroxylated steroids to dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione, respectively (17,20-lyase activity). Most mammalian CYP17 isoforms have high 17alpha-hydroxylase relative to 17,20-lyase activities and preferentially mediate one of the two 17,20-lyase reactions. In contrast, Xenopus laevis CYP17 potently regulates all four reactions in the frog ovary. CYP17 isoforms generally rely on the cofactor cytochrome b(5) for the 17,20-lyase reaction, suggesting that the high lyase activity of Xenopus CYP17 might be due to a lesser dependence on b(5). The kinetics of Xenopus CYP17 expressed in yeast microsomes were therefore examined in the absence and presence of Xenopus on human b(5). Xenopus CYP17 mediated both 17,20-lyase reactions in the absence of b(5), confirming that the activity did not require b(5). However, both Xenopus and human b(5) slightly enhanced Xenopus CYP17-mediated lyase activity, indicating that the enzyme was still at least partially responsive to b(5). Surprisingly, only the human b(5) cofactor enhanced human CYP17-mediated lyase activity, implying that the human enzyme had more specific cofactor requirements than Xenopus CYP17. Studies using human/Xenopus chimeric b(5) proteins revealed that human b(5) residues 16-41 were important for the specific regulation of the lyase activity of HuCYP17, possibly serving as an interacting domain with the enzyme. CYP17 may therefore have evolved from a general producer of sex steroids in lower vertebrates to a more tightly regulated producer of both sex steroids and glucocorticoids in mammals.
PubMed ID: 15640159
PMC ID: PMC1513634
Article link: J Biol Chem.
Grant support: DK59913 NIDDK NIH HHS , R01 DK059913-03 NIDDK NIH HHS , R01 DK059913 NIDDK NIH HHS
Genes referenced: cytb