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DHRS7 (SDR34C1) – A new player in the regulation of androgen receptor function by inactivation of 5α-dihydrotestosterone?

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Araya Selene, Kratschmar Denise V., Tsachaki Maria, Stücheli Simon, Beck Katharina R., Odermatt Alex,
Project Impact of the NADPH pool in the endoplasmic reticulum on metabolic and hormonal regulation
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume (Issue) 171
Page(s) 288 - 295
Title of proceedings Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
DOI 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.04.013


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd DHRS7 (SDR34C1) has been associated with potential tumor suppressor effects in prostate cancer; however, its function remains largely unknown. Recent experiments using purified recombinant human DHRS7 suggested several potential substrates, including the steroids cortisone and Δ4-androstene-3,17-dione (androstenedione). However, the substrate and cofactor concentrations used in these experiments were very high and the physiological relevance of these observations needed to be further investigated. In the present study, recombinant human DHRS7 was expressed in intact HEK-293 cells in order to investigate whether glucocorticoids and androgens serve as substrates at sub-micromolar concentrations and at physiological cofactor concentrations. Furthermore, the membrane topology of DHRS7 was revisited using redox-sensitive green-fluorescent protein fusions in living cells. The results revealed that (1) cortisone is a substrate of DHRS7; however, it is not reduced to cortisol but to 20β-dihydrocortisone, (2) androstenedione is not a relevant substrate of DHRS7, (3) DHRS7 catalyzes the oxoreduction of 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5αDHT) to 3α-androstanediol (3αAdiol), with a suppressive effect on androgen receptor (AR) transcriptional activity, and (4) DHRS7 is anchored in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane with a cytoplasmic orientation. Together, the results show that DHRS7 is a cytoplasmic oriented enzyme exhibiting 3α/20β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity, with a possible role in the modulation of AR function. Further research needs to address the physiological relevance of DHRS7 in the inactivation of 5αDHT and AR regulation.