Regulation of Steroid Hormone Action in Target Cells by Specific Hormone-Inactivating Enzymes

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87 Scopus citations


The target cell sensitivity of steroid hormones is determined by the concerted action of specific hormone receptors and steroid-inactivating enzymes. In recent years, a considerable amount of knowledge has been obtained on hormone receptor concentration-based target cell sensitivity. However, an equal understanding of the role of specific steroid-inactivating enzymes in hormone action is absent. This review highlights the importance of specific steroid-inactivating enzymes in the control of target cell sensitivity of mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, androgens, and estrogens. Two classes of enzymes that are actively involved in this process are hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases and hydroxysteroid sulfotransferases. Some of the target cells in which the critical roles of these enzymes have been extensively characterized are those of the kidney, endometrium, and liver. cDNA for many of these enzymes have already been cloned, and rapid progress in the elucidation of this component of steroid hormone action is anticipated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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