Site of action of proteinases in the activation of steroidogenesis in rat adrenal gland

Pablo G. Mele, Laura A. Dada, Cristina Paz, Cora B. Cymeryng, M. Fabiana Cornejo Maciel, M. Isabel Neuman, Carla V. Finkielstein, Carlos F. Mendez, Ernesto J. Podestá*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We have investigated the effect of the proteinase inhibitors 1,10-phenantroline (OP) and phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) on steroidogenesis in rat adrenal cortex. Both PMSF and OP inhibited adrenocorticotropin (ACTH)- and 8-Br cAMP-induced stimulation of corticosterone synthesis. On the contrary, arachidonic acid-induced stimulation of corticosterone synthesis was only slightly inhibited by PMSF and unchanged by OP. Intra- and extracellular cAMP levels were determined by radioimmunoassay. While PMSF did not affect neither the intra- nor the extracellular cAMP levels, OP decreased the intra- and extracellular levels of unstimulated as well as ACTH-stimulated cells. The site of action of the proteinase inhibitors was also studied by recombination of mitochondria with the different subcellular fractions in vitro. Addition of PMSF abolished the stimulation achieved by in vitro activation of cytosol by cAMP and PKA. On the other hand, OP completely inhibited the activation of mitochondria. Our results provide evidence for the involvement of proteinases in ACTH-induced stimulation of steroidogenesis in adrenal cortex both prior to the release of arachidonic acid and at the level of cholesterol transport from the outer to the inner mitochondrial membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-268
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 29 1996


  • Adrenocorticotropin
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Proteinase
  • Steroidogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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