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Glucocorticoid biosynthesis

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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Cortisol, the major human glucocorticoid, is synthesized in the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex from pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is converted to 17alpha-hydoxyprogesterone in two reactions, both catalyzed by 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/isomerase. 17Alpha-hydroxyprogesterone is hydroxylated by CYP21A2 to form 11-deoxycortisol, which in turn is converted to cortisol by CYP11B1. The conversion of the active steroid hormone, cortisol, to inactive cortisone occurs in many tissues, notably the liver (Payne and Hales 2004).

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