Prostate. III--A structural feature characteristic of the rat prostate 5 alpha-reductase active site.
To aid in the design of new inhibitors of steroidal 5 alpha-reductase for treatment of prostate cancer, we have studied the topography of the 5 alpha-reductase active site (5 alpha-R) and of the related androgen (RA) and progesterone (RP) receptors in the region complementary to C.6 of progesterone. To this end we have determined the total structures of 17 alpha-acetoxy-6-methylene-4-pregnene-3,20-dione (VII; R = H) and of 17 beta-hydroxy-6,6-ethylene-4-androsten-3-one (VIa) by X-ray crystal structure analysis and, using these data, have developed Newman projections of the 6 alpha-Me, 6 beta-Me, 6-methylene and 6,6-ethylene derivatives of progesterone. From them we have developed a Newman projection of a composite model formed from steroids (V), (VI), (VIIIa) and (VIIIb). This is shown in Fig. 4 and illustrates the relative conformations of these substituents around C.6. From there we proceeded to receptor-binding studies. Our results led to the conclusion that androgen receptor, (RA), takes up preferred but different conformations when bound to testosterone (T) and to 17 beta-hydroxy-5 alpha-androstan-3-one (5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, DHT), respectively, and that the resulting steroid-receptor complexes bind preferentially to different chromatin acceptor sites. We have therefore used the convention RT and RDHT in place of RA as appropriate. Working on the assumption that binding affinities reflect spatial contours, we have developed comparative silhouettes for the 5 alpha-R, RP and RDHT protein binding sites complementary to C.6 of the steroidal ligand. These data show that the 5 alpha-reductase active site is characterized by a hydrophobic pocket which specifically accommodates a 6-methylenic moiety and partially accommodates a 6 beta-methyl group. RDHT, in contrast, shows much less specificity and largely accommodates all the above substituents. Progesterone receptor differs in failing to accommodate 6,6-ethylene and 6 beta-methyl, with minimal accommodation of 6-methylene. It possesses a hydrophobic pocket skewed towards the alpha-face of the steroid, thereby allowing optimal binding of the 6 alpha-methyl substituent to the receptor. 6-Methylene-4-pregnene-3,20-dione (V) fails to bind significantly to androgen and progesterone receptors thereby supporting the postulate that its antiprostatic activity stems primarily from 5 alpha-reductase inhibition.
Petrow, V; Padilla, GM; McPhail, AT; Bruchovsky, N; Schneider, SL
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