CYP17A1 inhibitor abiraterone, an anti-prostate cancer drug, also inhibits the 21-hydroxylase activity of CYP21A2

Malikova, Jana; Brixius-Anderko, Simone; Udhane, Sameer Sopanrao; Parween, Shaheena; Dick, Bernhard; Bernhardt, Rita; Pandey, Amit Vikram (2017). CYP17A1 inhibitor abiraterone, an anti-prostate cancer drug, also inhibits the 21-hydroxylase activity of CYP21A2. Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, 174, pp. 192-200. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.09.007

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Abiraterone is an inhibitor of CYP17A1 which is used for the treatment of castration resistant prostate cancer. Abiraterone is known to inhibit several drug metabolizing cytochrome P450 enzymes including CYP1A2, CYP2D6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP3A4 and CYP3A5, but its effects on steroid metabolizing P450 enzymes are not clear. In preliminary results, we had observed inhibition of CYP21A2 by 1 μM abiraterone. Here we are reporting the effect of abiraterone on activities of CYP21A2 in human adrenal cells as well as with purified recombinant CYP21A2. Cells were treated with varying concentrations of abiraterone for 24 h and CYP21A2 activity was measured using [3H] 17-hydroxyprogesterone as substrate. Whole steroid profile changes were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Binding of abiraterone to purified CYP21A2 protein was measured spectroscopically. Computational docking was used to study the binding and interaction of abiraterone with CYP21A2. Abiraterone caused significant reduction in CYP21A2 activity in assays with cells and an inhibition of CYP21A2 activity was also observed in experiments using recombinant purified proteins. Abiraterone binds to CYP21A2 with an estimated Kd of 6.3 μM. These inhibitory effects of abiraterone are at clinically used concentrations. A loss of CYP21A2 activity in combination with reduction of CYP17A1 activities by abiraterone could result in lower cortisol levels and may require monitoring for any potential adverse effects.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Endocrinology/Metabolic Disorders
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Unit Childrens Hospital > Forschungsgruppe Nephrologie / Hypertonie

UniBE Contributor:

Malikova, Jana, Udhane, Sameer Sopanrao, Parween, Shaheena, Dick, Bernhard, Pandey, Amit Vikram


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2018 12:42

Last Modified:

06 Jan 2023 18:53

Publisher DOI:


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