Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The metabolic reduction of 11-keto groups in glucocorticoid steroids such as cortisone leads to the nuclear receptor ligand cortisol. This conversion is an example of pre-receptor regulation and constitutes a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and possibly other derangements observed in the metabolic syndrome, such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and lowered insulin secretion. This reaction is carried out by the NADPH-dependent type 1 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-HSD1), an enzyme attached through an integral N-terminal transmembrane helix to the lipid bilayer and located with its active site within the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. Here we report the crystal structure of recombinant guinea pig 11beta-HSD1. This variant was determined in complex with NADP at 2.5 A resolution and crystallized in the presence of detergent and guanidinium hydrochloride. The overall structure of guinea pig 11beta-HSD1 shows a clear relationship to other members of the superfamily of short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases but harbors a unique C-terminal helical segment that fulfills three essential functions and accordingly is involved in subunit interactions, contributes to active site architecture, and is necessary for lipid-membrane interactions. The structure provides a model for enzyme-lipid bilayer interactions and suggests a funneling of lipophilic substrates such as steroid hormones from the hydrophobic membrane environment to the enzyme active site.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





3789 - 3794


11-beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1, Animals, Binding Sites, Crystallography, Glycosylation, Guinea Pigs, Lipid Bilayers, Membrane Proteins, Protein Structure, Secondary, Protein Structure, Tertiary