Steroidogenesis of the testis - new genes and pathways

Flück Pandey, Christa Emma; Pandey, Amit Vikram (2014). Steroidogenesis of the testis - new genes and pathways. Annales d'endocrinologie, 75(2), pp. 40-47. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ando.2014.03.002

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Defects of androgen biosynthesis cause 46,XY disorder of sexual development (DSD). All steroids are produced from cholesterol and the early steps of steroidogenesis are common to mineralocorticoid, glucocorticoid and sex steroid production. Genetic mutations in enzymes and proteins supporting the early biosynthesis pathways cause adrenal insufficiency (AI), DSD and gonadal insufficiency. The classic androgen biosynthesis defects with AI are lipoid CAH, CYP11A1 and HSD3B2 deficiencies. Deficiency of CYP17A1 rarely causes AI, and HSD17B3 or SRD5A2 deficiencies only cause 46,XY DSD and gonadal insufficiency. All androgen biosynthesis depends on 17,20 lyase activity of CYP17A1 which is supported by P450 oxidoreductase (POR) and cytochrome b5 (CYB5). Therefore 46,XY DSD with apparent 17,20 lyase deficiency may be due to mutations in CYP17A1, POR or CYB5. Illustrated by patients harboring mutations in SRD5A2, normal development of the male external genitalia depends largely on dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is converted from circulating testicular testosterone (T) through SRD5A2 in the genital skin. In the classic androgen biosynthetic pathway, T is produced from DHEA and androstenedione/-diol in the testis. However, recently found mutations in AKR1C2/4 genes in undervirilized 46,XY individuals have established a role for a novel, alternative, backdoor pathway for fetal testicular DHT synthesis. In this pathway, which has been first elucidated for the tammar wallaby pouch young, 17-hydroxyprogesterone is converted directly to DHT by 5α-3α reductive steps without going through the androgens of the classic pathway. Enzymes AKR1C2/4 catalyse the critical 3αHSD reductive reaction which feeds 17OH-DHP into the backdoor pathway. In conclusion, androgen production in the fetal testis seems to utilize two pathways but their exact interplay remains to be elucidated.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Endocrinology/Metabolic Disorders

UniBE Contributor:

Flück Pandey, Christa Emma, Pandey, Amit Vikram


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Amit Vikram Pandey

Date Deposited:

19 Mar 2015 16:27

Last Modified:

06 Jan 2023 23:17

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Disorder of sexual development, Lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia, CYP11A1, HSD3B2, CYP17A1, HSD17B3, SRD5A2, POR and CYB5 deficiencies, AKR1C2/4 genes




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