Cortisol production in sheep is influenced by the functional expression of two cytochrome P450 17-alpha-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (CYP17) isoforms

Hough, D. , Cloete, S.W.P., Storbeck, K., Swart, A.C. and Swart, P. (2013) Cortisol production in sheep is influenced by the functional expression of two cytochrome P450 17-alpha-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (CYP17) isoforms. Journal of Animal Science, 91(3), pp. 1193-1206. (doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5800)

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In commercial production systems, the full expression of the genetic potential of an animal is limited by its intrinsic and extrinsic environment. It is therefore necessary to include robustness as a breeding goal because robustness is defined as the ability of an animal to express a high production potential in a wide variety of environmental conditions. The ability of mammals to produce sufficient cortisol on stimulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is vital in its adaptation to stress. The biosynthesis of cortisol is dependent on the enzymatic activity of the microsomal enzyme, cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (CYP17). Two isoforms for sheep (Ovis aries) CYP17, previously identified in 2 independent studies, differ by 2 nucleotides, resulting in 2 AA differences (Ser210Gly and Tyr464Asn). The present study investigates the effect of these differences on cortisol production as a function of the HPA axis activity by comparing the catalytic activities of these isoforms. The activities of the CYP17 isoforms were compared by expressing the enzymes in vitro. The kinetic constants, Vmax and Km, which were determined for pregnenolone and progesterone (in the absence of cytochrome b5), showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) between the CYP17 isoforms. In contrast, a time course of the metabolism of pregnenolone, 17-hydroxypregnenolone, and progesterone, assayed in the presence and absence of ovine cytochrome b5 overexpression, showed significant differences (P < 0.05) between the isoforms. Wild-type 1 CYP17 (WT1, GenBank accession number L40335) yielded more cortisol precursors than wild-type 2 (WT2, GenBank accession number AF251388). Site-directed mutagenesis indicated that a tyrosine residue at position 464 of WT1 increased the 17α-hydroxylation of progesterone compared with an asparagine residue at that position of WT2. In a subsequent insulin-induced hypoglycemic stress test, the presence of WT1 resulted in a greater cortisol output from the sheep adrenal than the presence of WT2, as homozygous WT1/WT1 sheep produced more cortisol than heterozygous WT1/WT2 sheep. The SNP located within the WT1 allele may therefore have a potential application in marker-assisted selection of sheep exhibiting a greater release of cortisol from the adrenal gland in response to stressors.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hough, Dr Denise
Authors: Hough, D., Cloete, S.W.P., Storbeck, K., Swart, A.C., and Swart, P.
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Animal Science
Publisher:American Society of Animal Science
ISSN (Online):1525-3163

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