Cytochrome P450(11 β) (steroid 11 β-hydroxylase) catalyzes an essential step for biosynthesis of glucocorticoid as well as mineralocorticoid, and therefore is believed to exist specifically in the adrenocortical mitochondria. We previously isolated a complementary DNA clone encoding this enzyme from bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) adrenal tissues and characterized the enzyme expressed in COS cells. To explore the tissue distribution of the enzyme we performed Northern blot analysis. Unexpectedly we found that a large amount of the mRNA exists in the ovary as well as the adrenal gland. It was present in oocytes, but not in follicular cells. The P450 protein was not found during early stages of oocyte development, and at the final stage of maturation the message appeared to be translated. Evidence was obtained that the stage-dependent translation of the mRNA was due to the regulated polyadenylation at its 3′-end. In oocytes of various organisms several maternal mRNAs are known to add poly(A) tails in the cytoplasm during the progesterone-induced maturation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas