Steroidogenesi

Steroidogenesis entails processes by which cholesterol is converted to biologically active steroid hormones. Whereas most endocrine texts discuss adrenal, ovarian, testicular, placental, and other steroidogenic processes in a gland-specific fashion, steroidogenesis is better understood as a single process that is repeated in each gland with cell-type-specific variations on a single theme. Thus, understanding steroidogenesis is rooted in an understanding of the biochemistry of the various steroidogenic enzymes and cofactors and the genes that encode them. The first and rate-limiting step in steroidogenesis is the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone by a single enzyme, P450scc (CYP11A1), but this enzymatically complex step is subject to multiple regulatory mechanisms, yielding finely tuned quantitative regulation. Qualitative regulation determining the type of steroid to be produced is mediated by many enzymes and cofactors. Steroidogenic enzymes fall into two groups: cytochrome P450 enzymes and hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases. A cytochrome P450 may be either type 1 (in mitochondria) or type 2 (in endoplasmic reticulum), and a hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase may belong to either the aldo-keto reductase or short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase families. The activities of these enzymes are modulated by posttranslational modifications and by cofactors, especially electron-donating redox partners. The elucidation of the precise roles of these various enzymes and cofactors has been greatly facilitated by identifying the genetic bases of rare disorders of steroidogenesis. Some enzymes not principally involved in steroidogenesis may also catalyze extraglandular steroidogenesis, modulating the phenotype expected to result from some mutations. Understanding steroidogenesis is of fundamental importance to understanding disorders of sexual differentiation, reproduction, fertility, hypertension, obesity, and physiological homeostasis.

Biosynthesis of steroid hormones requires a battery of oxidative enzymes located in both mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. The rate-limiting step in this process is the transport of free cholesterol from the cytoplasm into mitochondria. Within mitochondria, cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone by an enzyme in the inner membrane called CYP11A1. Pregnenolone itself is not a hormone, but is the immediate precursor for the synthesis of all of the steroid hormones. The following table delineates the enzymes required to synthesize the major classes of steroid hormones.

Overview of mathematical H295R steroidogenesis model. The computational model is based on an in vitro steroidogenesis experimental design with two compartments: culture medium and H295R cells ( Figure 1 ). The model consists of steroid transport and metabolic pathways. The transport pathways include cellular uptake of CHOL (steroid precursor) and MET and the import and secretion of 14 adrenal steroids (PREG, HPREG, DHEA, PROG, HPROG, DIONE, T, DCORTICO, CORTICO, ALDO, DCORT, CORT, E 1 , and E 2 ). The metabolic pathway includes conversion of CHOL into the 14 adrenal steroids and inhibition of steroidogenic enzymes by MET. Development of various aspects of the model is described in detail below.

This Test Guideline describes an in vitro screen for chemical effects on steroidogenesis, specifically the production of 17ß-estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T). The human H295R adreno-carcinoma cell line, used for the assay, expresses genes that encode for all the key enzymes for steroidogenesis. After an acclimation period of 24 h in multi-well plates, cells are exposed for 48 h to seven concentrations of the test chemical in at least triplicate. Solvent and a known inhibitor and inducer of hormone production are run at a fixed concentration as negative and positive controls. At the end of the exposure period, cell viability in each well is analyzed. Concentrations of hormones in the medium can be measured using a variety of methods including commercially available hormone measurement kits and/or instrumental techniques such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Data are expressed as fold change relative to the solvent control and the Lowest-Observed-Effect-Concentration. If the assay is negative, the highest concentration tested is reported as the No-Observed-Effect-Concentration.

Steroid isolation , depending on context, is the isolation of chemical matter required for chemical structure elucidation, derivitzation or degradation chemistry, biological testing, and other research needs (generally milligrams to grams, but often more [37] or the isolation of "analytical quantities" of the substance of interest (where the focus is on identifying and quantifying the substance (for example, in biological tissue or fluid). The amount isolated depends on the analytical method, but is generally less than one microgram. [38] [ page needed ] The methods of isolation to achieve the two scales of product are distinct, but include extraction , precipitation, adsorption , chromatography , and crystallization . In both cases, the isolated substance is purified to chemical homogeneity; combined separation and analytical methods, such as LC-MS , are chosen to be "orthogonal"—achieving their separations based on distinct modes of interaction between substance and isolating matrix—to detect a single species in the pure sample. Structure determination refers to the methods to determine the chemical structure of an isolated pure steroid, using an evolving array of chemical and physical methods which have included NMR and small-molecule crystallography . [2] :10–19 Methods of analysis overlap both of the above areas, emphasizing analytical methods to determining if a steroid is present in a mixture and determining its quantity. [38]

Steroidogenesi

steroidogenesi

This Test Guideline describes an in vitro screen for chemical effects on steroidogenesis, specifically the production of 17ß-estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T). The human H295R adreno-carcinoma cell line, used for the assay, expresses genes that encode for all the key enzymes for steroidogenesis. After an acclimation period of 24 h in multi-well plates, cells are exposed for 48 h to seven concentrations of the test chemical in at least triplicate. Solvent and a known inhibitor and inducer of hormone production are run at a fixed concentration as negative and positive controls. At the end of the exposure period, cell viability in each well is analyzed. Concentrations of hormones in the medium can be measured using a variety of methods including commercially available hormone measurement kits and/or instrumental techniques such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Data are expressed as fold change relative to the solvent control and the Lowest-Observed-Effect-Concentration. If the assay is negative, the highest concentration tested is reported as the No-Observed-Effect-Concentration.

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