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Aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C3 (AKR1C3), also known as 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 5 (17β-HSD5, HSD17B5) is a key steroidogenic enzyme that in humans is encoded by the AKR1C3 gene.[1][2][3]


This gene encodes a member of the aldo/keto reductase superfamily, which consists of more than 40 known enzymes and proteins. These enzymes catalyze the conversion of aldehydes and ketones to their corresponding alcohols by utilizing NADH and/or NADPH as cofactors. The enzymes display overlapping but distinct substrate specificity. This enzyme catalyzes the reduction of prostaglandin (PG) D2, PGH2 and phenanthrenequinone (PQ), and the oxidation of 9alpha,11beta-PGF2 to PGD2. It may play an important role in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases such as asthma, and may also have a role in controlling cell growth and/or differentiation. This gene shares high sequence identity with three other gene members and is clustered with those three genes at chromosome 10p15-p14.[3]


AKR1C3 is overexpressed in prostate cancer (PCa) and is associated with the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In addition, AKR1C3 overexpression may serve as a promising biomarker for prostate cancer progression.[4]


  1. Khanna M, Qin KN, Wang RW, Cheng KC (Aug 1995). "Substrate specificity, gene structure, and tissue-specific distribution of multiple human 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 270 (34): 20162–8. PMID 7650035. doi:10.1074/jbc.270.34.20162. 
  2. Matsuura K, Shiraishi H, Hara A, Sato K, Deyashiki Y, Ninomiya M, Sakai S (Nov 1998). "Identification of a principal mRNA species for human 3alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase isoform (AKR1C3) that exhibits high prostaglandin D2 11-ketoreductase activity". Journal of Biochemistry. 124 (5): 940–6. PMID 9792917. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.jbchem.a022211. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Entrez Gene: AKR1C3 aldo-keto reductase family 1, member C3 (3-alpha hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, type II)". 
  4. Tian Y, Zhao L, Zhang H, Liu X, Zhao L, Zhao X, Li Y, Li J (2014). "AKR1C3 overexpression may serve as a promising biomarker for prostate cancer progression". Diagnostic Pathology. 9 (1): 42. PMC 3939640Freely accessible. PMID 24571686. doi:10.1186/1746-1596-9-42. 

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