Molecular Cloning and Expression of Guinea Pig Cytochrome P450C17 cDNA (Steroid 17Î±-Hydroxylase/17,20 Lyase): Tissue Distribution, Regulation, and Substrate Specificity of the Expressed Enzyme
AbstractIn mammalian and fish species, P450c17 mediates both 17Î±-hydroxylase and 17,20-lyase activities in the synthesis of steroid hormones. Previous results have shown that among the adrenal steroid hydroxylase enzymes involved in adrenal C19 steroid and glucocorticoid synthesis, regulation of cytochrome P450c17 is of primary importance because it is localized at the key branch between glucocorticoid and C19 steroid synthesis. A cDNA library from guinea pig adrenal was constructed, and the complete 17Î±-hydroxylase cytochrome P450 cDNA was isolated. The guinea pig P450c17 cDNA includes the full-length coding region (1,524 nucleotide), the complete 3â² untranslated region (169 nucleotide), and 39 bases of the 5â² untranslated region. Our clone shares most of the features of the other P450c17 cDNAs; however, in addition, we identified a novel conserved region of 18 amino acids located in exon I between residues 80 and 97. This region presents the highest percentage of identity among the other P450c17 enzymes and is positioned one helixturn upstream of the important Ser106 on the corresponding human form. On Northern blot, the cDNA hybridizes with a major 1.8-kb mRNA and with two other related P450c17 mRNA of about 3 and 4 kb. P450c17 mRNA is equally distributed in male and female gonads and adrenals. Characterization of the enzymatic activity shows that 17Î±-hydroxylase and 17,20-lyase are carried by a single protein, but in homogenates 17,20-lyase activity is barely detectable. Moreover, we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that the guinea pig enzyme preferentially has very high levels of 17Î±-hydroxylase and 17,20-lyase activities only toward Î 4 steroids. Second-messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate and adrenocorticotropin specifically increased the abundance of P450c17 mRNA levels in guinea pig adrenal cells.