Cytochrome P450 and steroid hydroxylase activity in mouse olfactory and vomeronasal mucosa

Jun Gu, Carol Dudley, Ting Su, David C. Spink, Qing Yu Zhang, Robert L. Moss, Xinxin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The aims of this study are to identify the sex steroid-metabolizing cytochrome P450 enzymes of the vomeronasal organ (VNO) and to determine the activities of VNO microsomes to metabolize estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone. Several P450 isoforms, including CYP1A2, CYP2A, CYP2B, CYP2C, CYP2G1, and CYP3A, NADPH P450-reductase, and microsomal epoxide hydrolase were detected in mouse VNO, although their expression levels were much lower than those in the main olfactory epithelium. VNO microsomes were active toward the three steroid hormones, producing metabolite profiles similar to those seen with olfactory mucosal microsomes. Thus, the mammalian VNO, a steroid hormone target tissue, contains multiple steroid-metabolizing P450 isoforms and is capable of metabolic disposition of the three major sex steroid hormones. These findings support the proposed roles of olfactory mucosal and VNO microsomal P450 enzymes in maintaining cellular hormonal homeostasis and other perireceptor processes associated with olfactory chemosensory function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 9 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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