Molecular biology of 11β-hydroxylase and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzymes

Perrin C. White, Leigh Pascoe, Kathleen M. Curnow, Grace Tannin, Ariel Rösler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


There are two steroid 11β-hydroxylase isozymes encoded by the CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 genes on human chromosome 8q. The first is expressed at high levels in the normal adrenal gland, has 11β-hydroxylase activity and is regulated by ACTH. Mutations in the corresponding gene cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 11β-hydroxylase deficiency; thus, this isozyme is required for cortisol biosynthesis. The second isozyme is expressed at low levels in the normal adrenal gland but at higher levels in aldosterone-secreting tumors, and has 11β-hydroxylase, 18-hydroxylase and 18-oxidase activities. The corresponding gene is regulated by angiotensin II, and mutations in this gene are found in persons who are unable to synthesize aldosterone due to corticosterone methyloxidase II deficiency. Thus, this isozyme is required for aldosterone biosynthesis. Cortisol and aldosterone are both effective ligands of the "mineralocorticoid" receptor in vitro, but only aldosterone is a potent mineralocorticoid in vivo. This apparent specificity occurs because 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in the kidney converts cortisol to cortisone, which is not a ligand for the receptor. This enzyme is a "short-chain" dehydrogenase which is encoded by a single gene on human chromosome 1. It is possible that mutations in this gene cause a form of childhood hypertension called apparent mineralocorticoid excess, in which the mineralocorticoid receptor is not protected from high concentrations of cortisol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-835
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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