Reactome: A Curated Pathway Database

Metabolism of steroid hormones and vitamin D (R-HSA-196071)

Species Homo sapiens

Summation

Steroid hormones are synthesized primarily in the adrenal gland and gonads. They regulate energy metabolism and stress responses (glucocorticoids), salt balance (mineralocorticoids), and sexual development and function (androgens and estrogens). All steroids are synthesized from cholesterol. Steroid hormone synthesis is largely regulated at the initial steps of cholesterol mobilization and transport into the mitochondrial matrix for conversion to pregnenolone. In the body, the fate of pregnenolone is tissue-specific: in the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex it is converted to cortisol, in the zona glomerulosa to aldosterone, and in the gonads to testosterone and then to estrone and estradiol. These pathways are outlined in the figure below, which also details the sites on the cholesterol molecule that undergo modification in the course of these reactions.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is a steroid hormone that plays a role in regulating calcium and bone metabolism. The processes by which it is synthesized, modified, and transported in the body are annotated here.

Locations in the PathwayBrowser
Additional Information
GO Biological Process steroid metabolic process (0008202)
Literature References
pubMedId Title Journal Year
15583024 Overview of steroidogenic enzymes in the pathway from cholesterol to active steroid hormones Endocr Rev 2004