The backdoor pathway to dihydrotestosterone

Richard J Auchus
Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism: TEM 2004, 15 (9): 432-8
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the androgen responsible for formation of the male external genitalia during embryogenesis and for most androgen-mediated events at male puberty. In most circumstances, testosterone (T) derived from the testis is converted to DHT by 5alpha-reductase type 2 in genital skin and prostate. By contrast, the testes of pouch young of the tammar wallaby and immature postnatal testes of several species synthesize 5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol, which is the proximal precursor of DHT in androgen-target tissues. Human steroidogenic enzymes efficiently catalyze all the required steps in a route to DHT that does not involve the T intermediate, called the 'backdoor pathway'. This alternative pathway of DHT production appears to explain how potent androgens are produced in some normal and pathological conditions when the conventional androgen-biosynthetic pathways fail to account completely for the of patterns androgen synthesis that are observed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.