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J Biol Chem. 1991 Aug 15;266(23):15253-7.

Molecular structure of rat hepatic 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. A member of the oxidoreductase gene family.

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Division of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, University of Southern California School of Medicine 90033.


3-alpha-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 alpha-HSD) (EC is an important multifunctional oxidoreductase capable of metabolizing steroid hormones, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and prostaglandins. 3 alpha-HSD is also required for bile acid synthesis and has been suggested to play an important role in net bile acid transport across the hepatocyte (Stolz, A., Takikawa, H., Ookhtens, M., and Kaplowitz, N. (1989) Annu. Rev. Physiol. 51, 166-177). In order to characterize molecular forms and begin to determine its regulation, we now report the nucleotide sequence, tissue distribution, and homology to other members of the oxidoreductase superfamily. Rat hepatic 3 alpha-HSD cDNA encodes for a 322-amino acid protein with a predicted molecular weight of 37,022 expressed in a 2.4-kilobase (kb) message size. Northern blot analysis of total RNA revealed equivalent steady-state levels in liver and intestine in male rats with lower levels of expression in the colon and minimal expression in stomach, lung, and testis. Female liver contained approximately 2-3-fold greater steady-state levels of mRNA as compared to the male liver with equivalent intestinal expression. Two hybridizing bands, 2.4 and 1.4 kb, were identified in total RNA from the ovary. 3 alpha-HSD exhibits 75% amino acid sequence homology with bovine lung prostaglandin F synthetase and 50% homology with human aldose reductases. Amino acid sequence analysis with short chain alcohol dehydrogenases identified a possible NADP(H) cofactor-binding site at the amino terminus. The significant homology of 3 alpha-HSD with both prostaglandin F synthetase and aldose reductases suggest a subdivision of monomeric, NADPH reductases within the larger oxidoreductases superfamily.

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