Steroid hormones are important physiological regulators that control our glucose and salt balance, as well as sexual characteristics. The synthesis of steroid hormones is under tight control; disturbed secretion of steroids often leads to diseases. The mechanism controlling the secretion of steroids, namely steroidogenesis, has been the focus of intensive studies. CYP11A1 controls the first and rate-limiting step of steroid biosynthesis. It is expressed in the adrenal cortex and gonads, under the control of pituitary hormones, through the cAMP-signaling pathway. The promoter of the CYP11A1 gene contains sequences that bind to transcription factor SF-1, which plays an important role in the tissue-specific and hormonally regulated expression of steroidogenic genes. Detailed transcriptional analysis documents the importance of SF-1 in activating CYP11A1 in vitro and in vivo. Other factors like c-Jun are also involved. The assembly of various transcription factors forming protein-DNA complexes appears to be the key step in CYP11A1 transcription.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry, medical
- Pharmacology (medical)