Selective inhibition by secosteroids of 5α-reductase activity in human sex skin fibroblasts

Nadia A. Zerhouni, Marc Maes, Charles Sultan, Stephen Rothwell, Claude J. Mlgeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The effects of 5,10-secoestra-4,5-diene-3,10,17-trione (Compound I) and 5,10-seco-19-norpregna-4,5-diene,3,10,20-trione (Compound II) on the 5α-reductase activity and on the androgen receptors of normal human sex skin fibroblasts were investigated. The Vmax and Km, of the transformation of testosterone to 5α-reduced products was 387 pg/μg DNA/30 min and 234 × 10-9M, respectively. When the inhibitors were introduced in the assay, the 5α-reductase activity was markedly reduced, Compound I being a less potent inhibitor than Compound II. At 15 min, the inhibition was greater than at 30 and 60 min. The K1for Compound I was 160 × 10-6M with a Vmax of 83 to 553 pg/Pg DNA/30 min. For Compound II, the Ki was 0.53 × 10-6M with a Vmax of 70 to 340 pg/yg DNA/30 min. The inhibition was of the noncompetitive type. Studies with androgen receptors showed that Compound I had a lower affinity for the receptors than Compound II. The ID50 for a3H-DHT and 3H-T for Compound I were 42.9 × 10-7M and 8.6 × 10-7M, respectively, whereas for Compound II, they were 10.6 × 10-7M and 4.8 × 10-7M.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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