Cloning and expression of rat cDNA encoding corticosteroid 11β-dehydrogenase

A. K. Agarwal, C. Monder, B. Eckstein, P. C. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

442 Scopus citations


Corticosteroid 11β-dehydrogenase (11-DH) catalyzes the conversion of cortisol to the inactive metabolite cortisone. Absence of 11-DH activity leads to a potentially fatal form of childhood hypertension termed apparent mineralocorticoid excess. As a first step in elucidating the molecular basis of this disorder, we isolated and characterized a rat cDNA clone encoding 11-DH. This clone hybridized to a single mRNA species in liver, kidney, and testis RNA but not to RNA from heart. The insert was 1265 base pairs long and included an 861-base pair open reading frame encoding 287 amino acids. A search of sequence databases revealed that 11-DH is identical in about 27% of amino acid residues to ribitol dehydrogenase from Klebsiella and to the product of the nodG gene from the nitrogen-fixing bacterium, Rhizobium meliloti, thus defining a new superfamily of genes encoding dehydrogenases. The 11-DH cDNA was expressed by transfection into Chinese hamster ovary cells under the control of an SV40 promoter. The expressed enzyme mediated both 11β-dehydrogenation and the reverse 11-oxoreduction reaction. Southern blot analysis of rat and human DNA suggested that additional genes related to 11-DH exist in both species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18939-18943
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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