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Cholesterol 7-alpha-Hydroxylase: A membrane-bound cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 7-alpha-hydroxylation of CHOLESTEROL in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP7, converts cholesterol to 7-alpha-hydroxycholesterol which is the first and rate-limiting step in the synthesis of BILE ACIDS.25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-Hydroxylase: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 1-alpha-hydroxylation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (also known as 25-hydroxycholecalciferol) in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP27B1 gene, converts 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 to 1-alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 which is the active form of VITAMIN D in regulating bone growth and calcium metabolism. This enzyme is also active on plant 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase: A microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 17-alpha-hydroxylation of progesterone or pregnenolone and subsequent cleavage of the residual two carbons at C17 in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP17 gene, generates precursors for glucocorticoid, androgen, and estrogen synthesis. Defects in CYP17 gene cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL) and abnormal sexual differentiation.Steroid Hydroxylases: Cytochrome P-450 monooxygenases (MIXED FUNCTION OXYGENASES) that are important in steroid biosynthesis and metabolism.Steroids: A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to TERPENES. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (STEROLS), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed)Steroid 12-alpha-Hydroxylase: A liver microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 12-alpha-hydroxylation of a broad spectrum of sterols in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP8B1gene, converts 7-alpha-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one to 7-alpha-12-alpha-dihydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one and is required in the synthesis of BILE ACIDS from cholesterol.Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase: A liver microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 16-alpha-hydroxylation of a broad spectrum of steroids, fatty acids, and xenobiotics in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme is encoded by a number of genes from several CYP2 subfamilies.Cholestanetriol 26-Monooxygenase: An NAPH-dependent cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of the side chain of sterol intermediates such as the 27-hydroxylation of 5-beta-cholestane-3-alpha,7-alpha,12-alpha-triol.Bile Acids and Salts: Steroid acids and salts. The primary bile acids are derived from cholesterol in the liver and usually conjugated with glycine or taurine. The secondary bile acids are further modified by bacteria in the intestine. They play an important role in the digestion and absorption of fat. They have also been used pharmacologically, especially in the treatment of gallstones.Cholestyramine Resin: A strongly basic anion exchange resin whose main constituent is polystyrene trimethylbenzylammonium Cl(-) anion.Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System: A superfamily of hundreds of closely related HEMEPROTEINS found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (MIXED FUNCTION OXYGENASES). In animals, these P-450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (BIOTRANSFORMATION). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into CYP gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the CYP1, CYP2, and CYP3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism.Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases: Enzymes that catalyze the reversible reduction of alpha-carboxyl group of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A to yield MEVALONIC ACID.Microsomes, Liver: Closed vesicles of fragmented endoplasmic reticulum created when liver cells or tissue are disrupted by homogenization. They may be smooth or rough.Receptors, Steroid: Proteins found usually in the cytoplasm or nucleus that specifically bind steroid hormones and trigger changes influencing the behavior of cells. The steroid receptor-steroid hormone complex regulates the transcription of specific genes.Cholesterol: The principal sterol of all higher animals, distributed in body tissues, especially the brain and spinal cord, and in animal fats and oils.Gonadal Steroid Hormones: Steroid hormones produced by the GONADS. They stimulate reproductive organs, germ cell maturation, and the secondary sex characteristics in the males and the females. The major sex steroid hormones include ESTRADIOL; PROGESTERONE; and TESTOSTERONE.Calcifediol: The major circulating metabolite of VITAMIN D3. It is produced in the LIVER and is the best indicator of the body's vitamin D stores. It is effective in the treatment of RICKETS and OSTEOMALACIA, both in azotemic and non-azotemic patients. Calcifediol also has mineralizing properties.17-alpha-Hydroxypregnenolone: A 21-carbon steroid that is converted from PREGNENOLONE by STEROID 17-ALPHA-HYDROXYLASE. It is an intermediate in the delta-5 pathway of biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and the adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Liver: A large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates that is responsible for detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.Hydroxycholesterols: Cholesterol which is substituted by a hydroxy group in any position.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.Cholic Acid: A major primary bile acid produced in the liver and usually conjugated with glycine or taurine. It facilitates fat absorption and cholesterol excretion.Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital: A group of inherited disorders of the ADRENAL GLANDS, caused by enzyme defects in the synthesis of cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) and/or ALDOSTERONE leading to accumulation of precursors for ANDROGENS. Depending on the hormone imbalance, congenital adrenal hyperplasia can be classified as salt-wasting, hypertensive, virilizing, or feminizing. Defects in STEROID 21-HYDROXYLASE; STEROID 11-BETA-HYDROXYLASE; STEROID 17-ALPHA-HYDROXYLASE; 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3-HYDROXYSTEROID DEHYDROGENASES); TESTOSTERONE 5-ALPHA-REDUCTASE; or steroidogenic acute regulatory protein; among others, underlie these disorders.Calcitriol: The physiologically active form of vitamin D. It is formed primarily in the kidney by enzymatic hydroxylation of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (CALCIFEDIOL). Its production is stimulated by low blood calcium levels and parathyroid hormone. Calcitriol increases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and in concert with parathyroid hormone increases bone resorption.Cholesterol Side-Chain Cleavage Enzyme: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the side-chain cleavage of C27 cholesterol to C21 pregnenolone in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11A1 gene, catalyzes the breakage between C20 and C22 which is the initial and rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of various gonadal and adrenal steroid hormones.Rickets: Disorders caused by interruption of BONE MINERALIZATION manifesting as OSTEOMALACIA in adults and characteristic deformities in infancy and childhood due to disturbances in normal BONE FORMATION. The mineralization process may be interrupted by disruption of VITAMIN D; PHOSPHORUS; or CALCIUM homeostasis, resulting from dietary deficiencies, or acquired, or inherited metabolic, or hormonal disturbances.Steroid 21-Hydroxylase: An adrenal microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 21-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP21 gene, converts progesterones to precursors of adrenal steroid hormones (CORTICOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE). Defects in CYP21 cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL).Taurocholic Acid: The product of conjugation of cholic acid with taurine. Its sodium salt is the chief ingredient of the bile of carnivorous animals. It acts as a detergent to solubilize fats for absorption and is itself absorbed. It is used as a cholagogue and cholerectic.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Pregnenolone: A 21-carbon steroid, derived from CHOLESTEROL and found in steroid hormone-producing tissues. Pregnenolone is the precursor to GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and the adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases: A large group of cytochrome P-450 (heme-thiolate) monooxygenases that complex with NAD(P)H-FLAVIN OXIDOREDUCTASE in numerous mixed-function oxidations of aromatic compounds. They catalyze hydroxylation of a broad spectrum of substrates and are important in the metabolism of steroids, drugs, and toxins such as PHENOBARBITAL, carcinogens, and insecticides.Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action in enzyme synthesis.Hydroxylation: Placing of a hydroxyl group on a compound in a position where one did not exist before. (Stedman, 26th ed)Cholestenones: CHOLESTENES with one or more double bonds and substituted by any number of keto groups.Cholic Acids: The 3 alpha,7 alpha,12 alpha-trihydroxy-5 beta-cholanic acid family of bile acids in man, usually conjugated with glycine or taurine. They act as detergents to solubilize fats for intestinal absorption, are reabsorbed by the small intestine, and are used as cholagogues and choleretics.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Cholesterol, Dietary: Cholesterol present in food, especially in animal products.Androstenedione: A delta-4 C19 steroid that is produced not only in the TESTIS, but also in the OVARY and the ADRENAL CORTEX. Depending on the tissue type, androstenedione can serve as a precursor to TESTOSTERONE as well as ESTRONE and ESTRADIOL.Chenodeoxycholic Acid: A bile acid, usually conjugated with either glycine or taurine. It acts as a detergent to solubilize fats for intestinal absorption and is reabsorbed by the small intestine. It is used as cholagogue, a choleretic laxative, and to prevent or dissolve gallstones.Dehydroepiandrosterone: A major C19 steroid produced by the ADRENAL CORTEX. It is also produced in small quantities in the TESTIS and the OVARY. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can be converted to TESTOSTERONE; ANDROSTENEDIONE; ESTRADIOL; and ESTRONE. Most of DHEA is sulfated (DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE SULFATE) before secretion.Aldehyde-Lyases: Enzymes that catalyze a reverse aldol condensation. A molecule containing a hydroxyl group and a carbonyl group is cleaved at a C-C bond to produce two smaller molecules (ALDEHYDES or KETONES). EC 4.1.2.Aromatase: An enzyme that catalyzes the desaturation (aromatization) of the ring A of C19 androgens and converts them to C18 estrogens. In this process, the 19-methyl is removed. This enzyme is membrane-bound, located in the endoplasmic reticulum of estrogen-producing cells of ovaries, placenta, testes, adipose, and brain tissues. Aromatase is encoded by the CYP19 gene, and functions in complex with NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE in the cytochrome P-450 system.Estradiol: The 17-beta-isomer of estradiol, an aromatized C18 steroid with hydroxyl group at 3-beta- and 17-beta-position. Estradiol-17-beta is the most potent form of mammalian estrogenic steroids.Taurochenodeoxycholic Acid: A bile salt formed in the liver by conjugation of chenodeoxycholate with taurine, usually as the sodium salt. It acts as detergent to solubilize fats in the small intestine and is itself absorbed. It is used as a cholagogue and choleretic.Mixed Function Oxygenases: Widely distributed enzymes that carry out oxidation-reduction reactions in which one atom of the oxygen molecule is incorporated into the organic substrate; the other oxygen atom is reduced and combined with hydrogen ions to form water. They are also known as monooxygenases or hydroxylases. These reactions require two substrates as reductants for each of the two oxygen atoms. There are different classes of monooxygenases depending on the type of hydrogen-providing cosubstrate (COENZYMES) required in the mixed-function oxidation.Hydroxyprogesterones: Metabolites or derivatives of PROGESTERONE with hydroxyl group substitution at various sites.Receptors, Calcitriol: Proteins, usually found in the cytoplasm, that specifically bind calcitriol, migrate to the nucleus, and regulate transcription of specific segments of DNA with the participation of D receptor interacting proteins (called DRIP). Vitamin D is converted in the liver and kidney to calcitriol and ultimately acts through these receptors.Vitamin D: A vitamin that includes both CHOLECALCIFEROLS and ERGOCALCIFEROLS, which have the common effect of preventing or curing RICKETS in animals. It can also be viewed as a hormone since it can be formed in SKIN by action of ULTRAVIOLET RAYS upon the precursors, 7-dehydrocholesterol and ERGOSTEROL, and acts on VITAMIN D RECEPTORS to regulate CALCIUM in opposition to PARATHYROID HORMONE.24,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D 3: A physiologically active metabolite of VITAMIN D. The compound is involved in the regulation of calcium metabolism, alkaline phosphatase activity, and enhances the calcemic effect of CALCITRIOL.Androsterone: A metabolite of TESTOSTERONE or ANDROSTENEDIONE with a 3-alpha-hydroxyl group and without the double bond. The 3-beta hydroxyl isomer is epiandrosterone.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Psyllium: Dried, ripe seeds of PLANTAGO PSYLLIUM; PLANTAGO INDICA; and PLANTAGO OVATA. Plantain seeds swell in water and are used as demulcents and bulk laxatives.Mevalonic AcidAndrogens: Compounds that interact with ANDROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of TESTOSTERONE. Depending on the target tissues, androgenic effects can be on SEX DIFFERENTIATION; male reproductive organs, SPERMATOGENESIS; secondary male SEX CHARACTERISTICS; LIBIDO; development of muscle mass, strength, and power.Cholecalciferol: Derivative of 7-dehydroxycholesterol formed by ULTRAVIOLET RAYS breaking of the C9-C10 bond. It differs from ERGOCALCIFEROL in having a single bond between C22 and C23 and lacking a methyl group at C24.Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear: Intracellular receptors that can be found in the cytoplasm or in the nucleus. They bind to extracellular signaling molecules that migrate through or are transported across the CELL MEMBRANE. Many members of this class of receptors occur in the cytoplasm and are transported to the CELL NUCLEUS upon ligand-binding where they signal via DNA-binding and transcription regulation. Also included in this category are receptors found on INTRACELLULAR MEMBRANES that act via mechanisms similar to CELL SURFACE RECEPTORS.Microsomes: Artifactual vesicles formed from the endoplasmic reticulum when cells are disrupted. They are isolated by differential centrifugation and are composed of three structural features: rough vesicles, smooth vesicles, and ribosomes. Numerous enzyme activities are associated with the microsomal fraction. (Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990; from Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)Cytochromes b5: Cytochromes of the b group that are found bound to cytoplasmic side of ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM. They serve as electron carrier proteins for a variety of membrane-bound OXYGENASES. They are reduced by the enzyme CYTOCHROME-B(5) REDUCTASE.Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4: A subfamily of nuclear receptors that regulate GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION of a diverse group of GENES involved in the synthesis of BLOOD COAGULATION FACTORS; and in GLUCOSE; CHOLESTEROL; and FATTY ACIDS metabolism.Theca Cells: The flattened stroma cells forming a sheath or theca outside the basal lamina lining the mature OVARIAN FOLLICLE. Thecal interstitial or stromal cells are steroidogenic, and produce primarily ANDROGENS which serve as precusors of ESTROGENS in the GRANULOSA CELLS.Adrenal Cortex: The outer layer of the adrenal gland. It is derived from MESODERM and comprised of three zones (outer ZONA GLOMERULOSA, middle ZONA FASCICULATA, and inner ZONA RETICULARIS) with each producing various steroids preferentially, such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and ANDROSTENEDIONE. Adrenal cortex function is regulated by pituitary ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN.Dexamethasone: An anti-inflammatory 9-fluoro-glucocorticoid.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.17-alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone: A metabolite of PROGESTERONE with a hydroxyl group at the 17-alpha position. It serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of HYDROCORTISONE and GONADAL STEROID HORMONES.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Bile: An emulsifying agent produced in the LIVER and secreted into the DUODENUM. Its composition includes BILE ACIDS AND SALTS; CHOLESTEROL; and ELECTROLYTES. It aids DIGESTION of fats in the duodenum.Sitosterols: A family of sterols commonly found in plants and plant oils. Alpha-, beta-, and gamma-isomers have been characterized.Vitamin D Deficiency: A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN D in the diet, insufficient production of vitamin D in the skin, inadequate absorption of vitamin D from the diet, or abnormal conversion of vitamin D to its bioactive metabolites. It is manifested clinically as RICKETS in children and OSTEOMALACIA in adults. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1406)Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Leydig Cells: Steroid-producing cells in the interstitial tissue of the TESTIS. They are under the regulation of PITUITARY HORMONES; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; or interstitial cell-stimulating hormone. TESTOSTERONE is the major androgen (ANDROGENS) produced.Glucocorticoids: A group of CORTICOSTEROIDS that affect carbohydrate metabolism (GLUCONEOGENESIS, liver glycogen deposition, elevation of BLOOD SUGAR), inhibit ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE secretion, and possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity. They also play a role in fat and protein metabolism, maintenance of arterial blood pressure, alteration of the connective tissue response to injury, reduction in the number of circulating lymphocytes, and functioning of the central nervous system.Ovary: The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.Parathyroid Hormone: A polypeptide hormone (84 amino acid residues) secreted by the PARATHYROID GLANDS which performs the essential role of maintaining intracellular CALCIUM levels in the body. Parathyroid hormone increases intracellular calcium by promoting the release of CALCIUM from BONE, increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, increases the renal tubular reabsorption of calcium, and increases the renal excretion of phosphates.Sterols: Steroids with a hydroxyl group at C-3 and most of the skeleton of cholestane. Additional carbon atoms may be present in the side chain. (IUPAC Steroid Nomenclature, 1987)Colestipol: Highly crosslinked and insoluble basic anion exchange resin used as anticholesteremic. It may also may reduce triglyceride levels.Hypophosphatemia, Familial: An inherited condition of abnormally low serum levels of PHOSPHATES (below 1 mg/liter) which can occur in a number of genetic diseases with defective reabsorption of inorganic phosphorus by the PROXIMAL RENAL TUBULES. This leads to phosphaturia, HYPOPHOSPHATEMIA, and disturbances of cellular and organ functions such as those in X-LINKED HYPOPHOSPHATEMIC RICKETS; OSTEOMALACIA; and FANCONI SYNDROME.NADPH-Ferrihemoprotein Reductase: A flavoprotein that catalyzes the reduction of heme-thiolate-dependent monooxygenases and is part of the microsomal hydroxylating system. EC 1.6.2.4.Anabolic Agents: These compounds stimulate anabolism and inhibit catabolism. They stimulate the development of muscle mass, strength, and power.Receptors, LDL: Receptors on the plasma membrane of nonhepatic cells that specifically bind LDL. The receptors are localized in specialized regions called coated pits. Hypercholesteremia is caused by an allelic genetic defect of three types: 1, receptors do not bind to LDL; 2, there is reduced binding of LDL; and 3, there is normal binding but no internalization of LDL. In consequence, entry of cholesterol esters into the cell is impaired and the intracellular feedback by cholesterol on 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase is lacking.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Cholestanol: A cholesterol derivative found in human feces, gallstones, eggs, and other biological matter.Hypophysectomy: Surgical removal or destruction of the hypophysis, or pituitary gland. (Dorland, 28th ed)Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Enzymes of the oxidoreductase class that catalyze the dehydrogenation of hydroxysteroids. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 1.1.-.Cholelithiasis: Presence or formation of GALLSTONES in the BILIARY TRACT, usually in the gallbladder (CHOLECYSTOLITHIASIS) or the common bile duct (CHOLEDOCHOLITHIASIS).Enzyme Induction: An increase in the rate of synthesis of an enzyme due to the presence of an inducer which acts to derepress the gene responsible for enzyme synthesis.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.17-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: A class of enzymes that catalyzes the oxidation of 17-hydroxysteroids to 17-ketosteroids. EC 1.1.-.Steroid 11-beta-Hydroxylase: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 11-beta-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11B1 gene, is important in the synthesis of CORTICOSTERONE and HYDROCORTISONE. Defects in CYP11B1 cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL).Mesocricetus: A genus of the family Muridae having three species. The present domesticated strains were developed from individuals brought from Syria. They are widely used in biomedical research.Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry: A microanalytical technique combining mass spectrometry and gas chromatography for the qualitative as well as quantitative determinations of compounds.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Hormones: Chemical substances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of a certain organ or organs. The term was originally applied to substances secreted by various ENDOCRINE GLANDS and transported in the bloodstream to the target organs. It is sometimes extended to include those substances that are not produced by the endocrine glands but that have similar effects.Biliary Fistula: Abnormal passage in any organ of the biliary tract or between biliary organs and other organs.Dehydrocholesterols: Cholesterol derivatives having an additional double bond in any position. 24-Dehydrocholesterol is DESMOSTEROL. The other most prevalent dehydrocholesterol is the 7-isomer. This compound is a precursor of cholesterol and of vitamin D3.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Ketoconazole: Broad spectrum antifungal agent used for long periods at high doses, especially in immunosuppressed patients.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Feedback: A mechanism of communication within a system in that the input signal generates an output response which returns to influence the continued activity or productivity of that system.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Steryl-Sulfatase: An arylsulfatase with high specificity towards sulfated steroids. Defects in this enzyme are the cause of ICHTHYOSIS, X-LINKED.Cortodoxone: 17,21-Dihydroxypregn-4-ene-3,20-dione. A 17-hydroxycorticosteroid with glucocorticoid and anti-inflammatory activities.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Progesterone Reductase: An enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of a 3 beta-hydroxy-delta(5)-steroid to 3-oxo-delta(4)-steroid in the presence of NAD. It converts pregnenolone to progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone to androstenedione. EC 1.1.1.145.Pregnanes: Saturated derivatives of the steroid pregnane. The 5-beta series includes PROGESTERONE and related hormones; the 5-alpha series includes forms generally excreted in the urine.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Estrogens: Compounds that interact with ESTROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of ESTRADIOL. Estrogens stimulate the female reproductive organs, and the development of secondary female SEX CHARACTERISTICS. Estrogenic chemicals include natural, synthetic, steroidal, or non-steroidal compounds.Aminoglutethimide: An aromatase inhibitor that is used in the treatment of advanced BREAST CANCER.Hydrocortisone: The main glucocorticoid secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX. Its synthetic counterpart is used, either as an injection or topically, in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, collagen diseases, asthma, adrenocortical deficiency, shock, and some neoplastic conditions.Dihydroxycholecalciferols: Cholecalciferols substituted with two hydroxy groups in any position.Enterohepatic Circulation: Recycling through liver by excretion in bile, reabsorption from intestines (INTESTINAL REABSORPTION) into portal circulation, passage back into liver, and re-excretion in bile.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.Adrenal Cortex HormonesGene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Farnesyl-Diphosphate Farnesyltransferase: The first committed enzyme of the biosynthesis pathway that leads to the production of STEROLS. it catalyzes the synthesis of SQUALENE from farnesyl pyrophosphate via the intermediate PRESQUALENE PYROPHOSPHATE. This enzyme is also a critical branch point enzyme in the biosynthesis of ISOPRENOIDS that is thought to regulate the flux of isoprene intermediates through the sterol pathway.Meglutol: An antilipemic agent which lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, serum beta-lipoproteins and phospholipids. It acts by interfering with the enzymatic steps involved in the conversion of acetate to hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A as well as inhibiting the activity of HYDROXYMETHYLGLUTARYL COA REDUCTASES which is the rate limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of cholesterol.Cholates: Salts and esters of CHOLIC ACID.Pregnadienes: Pregnane derivatives containing two double bonds anywhere within the ring structures.Substrate Specificity: A characteristic feature of enzyme activity in relation to the kind of substrate on which the enzyme or catalytic molecule reacts.Phosphorus: A non-metal element that has the atomic symbol P, atomic number 15, and atomic weight 31. It is an essential element that takes part in a broad variety of biochemical reactions.Deoxycholic Acid: A bile acid formed by bacterial action from cholate. It is usually conjugated with glycine or taurine. Deoxycholic acid acts as a detergent to solubilize fats for intestinal absorption, is reabsorbed itself, and is used as a choleretic and detergent.Calcitonin: A peptide hormone that lowers calcium concentration in the blood. In humans, it is released by thyroid cells and acts to decrease the formation and absorptive activity of osteoclasts. Its role in regulating plasma calcium is much greater in children and in certain diseases than in normal adults.Gallbladder: A storage reservoir for BILE secretion. Gallbladder allows the delivery of bile acids at a high concentration and in a controlled manner, via the CYSTIC DUCT to the DUODENUM, for degradation of dietary lipid.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: An anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the ADRENAL CORTEX and its production of CORTICOSTEROIDS. ACTH is a 39-amino acid polypeptide of which the N-terminal 24-amino acid segment is identical in all species and contains the adrenocorticotrophic activity. Upon further tissue-specific processing, ACTH can yield ALPHA-MSH and corticotrophin-like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP).Circadian Rhythm: The regular recurrence, in cycles of about 24 hours, of biological processes or activities, such as sensitivity to drugs and stimuli, hormone secretion, sleeping, and feeding.Luteinizing Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Luteinizing hormone regulates steroid production by the interstitial cells of the TESTIS and the OVARY. The preovulatory LUTEINIZING HORMONE surge in females induces OVULATION, and subsequent LUTEINIZATION of the follicle. LUTEINIZING HORMONE consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Lipoproteins: Lipid-protein complexes involved in the transportation and metabolism of lipids in the body. They are spherical particles consisting of a hydrophobic core of TRIGLYCERIDES and CHOLESTEROL ESTERS surrounded by a layer of hydrophilic free CHOLESTEROL; PHOSPHOLIPIDS; and APOLIPOPROTEINS. Lipoproteins are classified by their varying buoyant density and sizes.Prednisolone: A glucocorticoid with the general properties of the corticosteroids. It is the drug of choice for all conditions in which routine systemic corticosteroid therapy is indicated, except adrenal deficiency states.Chorionic Gonadotropin: A gonadotropic glycoprotein hormone produced primarily by the PLACENTA. Similar to the pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in structure and function, chorionic gonadotropin is involved in maintaining the CORPUS LUTEUM during pregnancy. CG consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is virtually identical to the alpha subunits of the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN).Taxus: Genus of coniferous yew trees or shrubs, several species of which have medicinal uses. Notable is the Pacific yew, Taxus brevifolia, which is used to make the anti-neoplastic drug taxol (PACLITAXEL).DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.Chromatography, Thin Layer: Chromatography on thin layers of adsorbents rather than in columns. The adsorbent can be alumina, silica gel, silicates, charcoals, or cellulose. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Blotting, Northern: Detection of RNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.Fat Necrosis: A condition in which the death of adipose tissue results in neutral fats being split into fatty acids and glycerol.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.Taurodeoxycholic Acid: A bile salt formed in the liver by conjugation of deoxycholate with taurine, usually as the sodium salt. It is used as a cholagogue and choleretic, also industrially as a fat emulsifier.Disorders of Sex Development: In gonochoristic organisms, congenital conditions in which development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomical sex is atypical. Effects from exposure to abnormal levels of GONADAL HORMONES in the maternal environment, or disruption of the function of those hormones by ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS are included.Feces: Excrement from the INTESTINES, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and BACTERIA of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.Cholestadienols: Cholestadiene derivatives containing a hydroxy group anywhere in the molecule.Phenobarbital: A barbituric acid derivative that acts as a nonselective central nervous system depressant. It potentiates GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID action on GABA-A RECEPTORS, and modulates chloride currents through receptor channels. It also inhibits glutamate induced depolarizations.Rhodococcus: A bacterial genus of the order ACTINOMYCETALES.Adrenodoxin: An iron-sulfur protein which serves as an electron carrier in enzymatic steroid hydroxylation reactions in adrenal cortex mitochondria. The electron transport system which catalyzes this reaction consists of adrenodoxin reductase, NADP, adrenodoxin, and cytochrome P-450.Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid: Liquid chromatographic techniques which feature high inlet pressures, high sensitivity, and high speed.Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors: A family of transcription factors that contain regions rich in basic residues, LEUCINE ZIPPER domains, and HELIX-LOOP-HELIX MOTIFS.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Etiocholanolone: The 5-beta-reduced isomer of ANDROSTERONE. Etiocholanolone is a major metabolite of TESTOSTERONE and ANDROSTENEDIONE in many mammalian species including humans. It is excreted in the URINE.Receptors, LH: Those protein complexes or molecular sites on the surfaces and cytoplasm of gonadal cells that bind luteinizing or chorionic gonadotropic hormones and thereby cause the gonadal cells to synthesize and secrete sex steroids. The hormone-receptor complex is internalized from the plasma membrane and initiates steroid synthesis.Androstanes: The family of steroids from which the androgens are derived.Ovarian Follicle: An OOCYTE-containing structure in the cortex of the OVARY. The oocyte is enclosed by a layer of GRANULOSA CELLS providing a nourishing microenvironment (FOLLICULAR FLUID). The number and size of follicles vary depending on the age and reproductive state of the female. The growing follicles are divided into five stages: primary, secondary, tertiary, Graafian, and atretic. Follicular growth and steroidogenesis depend on the presence of GONADOTROPINS.Glycocholic Acid: The glycine conjugate of CHOLIC ACID. It acts as a detergent to solubilize fats for absorption and is itself absorbed.Methylprednisolone: A PREDNISOLONE derivative with similar anti-inflammatory action.Tricarboxylic Acids: Organic compounds that are acyclic and contain three acid groups. A member of this class is citric acid which is the first product formed by reaction of pyruvate and oxaloacetate. (From Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, 1982, p443)Metyrapone: An inhibitor of the enzyme STEROID 11-BETA-MONOOXYGENASE. It is used as a test of the feedback hypothalamic-pituitary mechanism in the diagnosis of CUSHING SYNDROME.trans-1,4-Bis(2-chlorobenzaminomethyl)cyclohexane Dihydrochloride: An anticholesteremic agent that inhibits sterol biosynthesis in animals.Ketocholesterols: Cholesterol substituted in any position by a keto moiety. The 7-keto isomer inhibits 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase activity and inhibits cholesterol uptake in the coronary arteries and aorta in vitro.Steroid Isomerases: Enzymes that catalyze the transposition of double bond(s) in a steroid molecule. EC 5.3.3.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Anticholesteremic Agents: Substances used to lower plasma CHOLESTEROL levels.Hepatocytes: The main structural component of the LIVER. They are specialized EPITHELIAL CELLS that are organized into interconnected plates called lobules.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.Desoxycorticosterone: A steroid metabolite that is the 11-deoxy derivative of CORTICOSTERONE and the 21-hydroxy derivative of PROGESTERONE.Corticosterone: An adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437)Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Sex Characteristics: Those characteristics that distinguish one SEX from the other. The primary sex characteristics are the OVARIES and TESTES and their related hormones. Secondary sex characteristics are those which are masculine or feminine but not directly related to reproduction.Cyclodextrins: A homologous group of cyclic GLUCANS consisting of alpha-1,4 bound glucose units obtained by the action of cyclodextrin glucanotransferase on starch or similar substrates. The enzyme is produced by certain species of Bacillus. Cyclodextrins form inclusion complexes with a wide variety of substances.Phosphates: Inorganic salts of phosphoric acid.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Chromatography, Gas: Fractionation of a vaporized sample as a consequence of partition between a mobile gaseous phase and a stationary phase held in a column. Two types are gas-solid chromatography, where the fixed phase is a solid, and gas-liquid, in which the stationary phase is a nonvolatile liquid supported on an inert solid matrix.Hypercalcemia: Abnormally high level of calcium in the blood.Dihydrotestosterone: A potent androgenic metabolite of TESTOSTERONE. It is produced by the action of the enzyme 3-OXO-5-ALPHA-STEROID 4-DEHYDROGENASE.Pregnanolone: A pregnane found in the urine of pregnant women and sows. It has anesthetic, hypnotic, and sedative properties.Intestinal Absorption: Uptake of substances through the lining of the INTESTINES.Orphan Nuclear Receptors: A broad category of receptor-like proteins that may play a role in transcriptional-regulation in the CELL NUCLEUS. Many of these proteins are similar in structure to known NUCLEAR RECEPTORS but appear to lack a functional ligand-binding domain, while in other cases the specific ligands have yet to be identified.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms: Tumors or cancers of the ADRENAL CORTEX.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Genitalia: The external and internal organs related to reproduction.Homeostasis: The processes whereby the internal environment of an organism tends to remain balanced and stable.Hypercholesterolemia: A condition with abnormally high levels of CHOLESTEROL in the blood. It is defined as a cholesterol value exceeding the 95th percentile for the population.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Anti-Inflammatory Agents: Substances that reduce or suppress INFLAMMATION.Sterol O-Acyltransferase: An enzyme that catalyzes the formation of cholesterol esters by the direct transfer of the fatty acid group from a fatty acyl CoA derivative. This enzyme has been found in the adrenal gland, gonads, liver, intestinal mucosa, and aorta of many mammalian species. EC 2.3.1.26.Sex Differentiation: The process in developing sex- or gender-specific tissue, organ, or function after SEX DETERMINATION PROCESSES have set the sex of the GONADS. Major areas of sex differentiation occur in the reproductive tract (GENITALIA) and the brain.Proadifen: An inhibitor of drug metabolism and CYTOCHROME P-450 ENZYME SYSTEM activity.Mice, Inbred C57BLHypocalcemia: Reduction of the blood calcium below normal. Manifestations include hyperactive deep tendon reflexes, Chvostek's sign, muscle and abdominal cramps, and carpopedal spasm. (Dorland, 27th ed)Receptors, Glucocorticoid: Cytoplasmic proteins that specifically bind glucocorticoids and mediate their cellular effects. The glucocorticoid receptor-glucocorticoid complex acts in the nucleus to induce transcription of DNA. Glucocorticoids were named for their actions on blood glucose concentration, but they have equally important effects on protein and fat metabolism. Cortisol is the most important example.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Fibroblast Growth Factors: A family of small polypeptide growth factors that share several common features including a strong affinity for HEPARIN, and a central barrel-shaped core region of 140 amino acids that is highly homologous between family members. Although originally studied as proteins that stimulate the growth of fibroblasts this distinction is no longer a requirement for membership in the fibroblast growth factor family.Catalysis: The facilitation of a chemical reaction by material (catalyst) that is not consumed by the reaction.Hydroxytestosterones: 17 beta-Hydroxy-4-androsten-3-ones. Testosterone derivatives formed by the substitution of one or more hydroxyl groups in any position.Oxidoreductases: The class of all enzymes catalyzing oxidoreduction reactions. The substrate that is oxidized is regarded as a hydrogen donor. The systematic name is based on donor:acceptor oxidoreductase. The recommended name will be dehydrogenase, wherever this is possible; as an alternative, reductase can be used. Oxidase is only used in cases where O2 is the acceptor. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992, p9)Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.