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Steroid 17-hydroxylase and 17,20-lyase deficiencies, genetic and pharmacologic.

Steroid 17-hydroxylase 17,20-lyase (cytochrome P450c17, P450 17A1, CYP17A1) catalyzes two major reactions: steroid 17-hydroxylation followed by the 17,20-lyase reactions. The most severe mutations in the cognate CYP17A1 gene abrogate all activities and cause combined 17-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase deficiency (17OHD), a biochemical phenotype that is replicated by treatment with the potent CYP17A1 inhibitor abiraterone acetate. The adrenals of patients with 17OHD synthesize 11-deoxycorticosterone (DOC) and corticosterone but no 19-carbon steroids, similar to the rodent adrenal, and DOC causes hypertension and hypokalemia. Loss of 17,20-lyase activity precludes sex steroid synthesis and leads to sexual infantilism. Rare missense CYP17A1 mutations minimally disrupt 17-hydroxylase activity but cause isolated 17,20-lyase deficiency (ILD), Mutations in the POR gene encoding the required cofactor protein cytochrome P450-oxidoreductase causes a spectrum of disease from ILD to 17OHD combined with 21-hydroxylase and aromatase deficiencies, sometimes including skeletal malformations. Mutations in the CYB5A gene encoding a second cofactor protein cytochrome b5 also selectively disrupt 17,20-lyase activity and cause the purest form of ILD. The clinical manifestations of these conditions are best understood in the context of the biochemistry of CYP17A1.

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