CYP21 pseudogene transcripts are much less abundant than those from the active gene in normal human adrenocortical cells under various conditions in culture

Akira Endoh, Lianqing Yang, Peter J. Hornsby

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12 Scopus citations


The human steroid 21-hydroxylase pseudogene (CYP21P, also termed CYP21A) is transcribed in the adrenal cortex, but the relative abundance of transcripts from CYP21P and from the active CYP21 gene (also termed CYP21B) is not well established. In the present experiments we cultured primary human adrenocortical cells in defined medium and used RNase protection assays to examine whether there might be a selective increase in the relative abundance of CYP21P transcripts under any of the various regulatory factors known to affect expression of 21-hydroxylase. Differences between the sequences of intron 2 in CYP21P and CYP21 allowed the synthesis of gene-specific probes spanning exon 3 and parts of the adjacent introns. CYP21- and CYP21P-specific probes spanning the site of the start of transcription were also synthesized. CYP21 transcripts were readily detectable. In agreement with previous observations on 21-hydroxylase mRNA and enzyme activity in primary cultures of human adrenocortical cells, the abundance of CYP21 transcripts was increased by cyclic AMP analogues (N6-monobutyryl cyclic AMP and 8-bromo cyclic AMP), insulin, IGF-I and tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA). However, CYP21P transcripts were not detected in the presence of any of the various regulatory factors known to affect expression of 21-hydroxylase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 13 1998



  • Human adrenal cortex
  • Primary cell culture
  • Pseudogenes
  • Steroid 21-hydroxylase
  • Transcripts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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