Human and rodent type 1 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases are 7beta-hydroxycholesterol dehydrogenases involved in oxysterol metabolism.
Hult M., Elleby B., Shafqat N., Svensson S., Rane A., Jörnvall H., Abrahmsen L., Oppermann U.
Interconversion between cortisone and the glucocorticoid receptor ligand cortisol is carried out by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-HSD)isozymes and constitutes a medically important example of pre-receptor control of steroid hormones. The enzyme 11beta-HSD type 1 (11beta-HSD1) catalyzes the conversion of cortisone to its active receptor-binding derivative cortisol, whereas 11beta-HSD type 2 performs the reverse reaction. Specific inhibitors against the type 1 enzyme lower intracellular levels of glucocorticoid hormone, with an important clinical application in insulin resistance and other metabolic disorders. We report here on the in vitro oxysterol-metabolizing properties of human and rodent 11beta-HSD1. The enzyme, either as full-length, membrane-attached, or as a transmembrane domain-deleted, soluble form, mediates exclusively conversion between 7-ketocholesterol and 7beta-hydroxycholesterol with similar k(cat) values as observed with glucocorticoid hormones. Thus, human, rat, and mouse 11beta-HSD1 have dual enzyme activities like the recently described 7alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase from hamster liver, but differ fundamentally from the latter in that 7beta-OH rather than 7alpha-OH dehydrogenase constitutes the second activity. These results demonstrate an enzymatic origin of species differences in 7-oxysterol metabolism, establish the origin of endogenous 7beta-OH cholesterol in humans, and point to a possible involvement of 11beta-HSD1 in atherosclerosis.