Steroid hormone precursor biosynthesis (WP5277)

Homo sapiens

Biosynthesis of steroid hormone precursors. The enzymes responsible for this process are mainly cytochrome P450 (Cyps), hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (HSDs), and steroid reductases, converting cholesterol to several classes of steroid hormones such as glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, progestins, androgens, and estrogens. these reactions take place in various organs, e.g. adrenal gland, testis, ovary, brain, placenta, and adipose tissue [PMID:16807284]. The pathway knowledge depicted in this model stems from William Griffths. Metabolic reactions currently without a Rhea ID have been added in bold to the pathway model.


Conroy lipids , Egon Willighagen , Denise Slenter , Lina Schiffer , Lars Willighagen , and Eric Weitz


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Homo sapiens



Pathway Ontology

cholesterol metabolic pathway C21-steroid hormone biosynthetic pathway steroid hormone biosynthetic pathway lipid metabolic pathway steroid biosynthetic pathway classic metabolic pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
Isoprogesterone Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030299
Pregnenetriol Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030263
20R,22R-dihydroxycholesterol Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST01010200
Pregnenediol Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030205
5beta-pregnane-3,20-dione Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030146
3alpha-hydroxy-5beta-pregnan-20-one Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030175
17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030161
17alpha-hydroxypregnenolone Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030089
Pregnanediol Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030264
22R-Hydroxycholesterol Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST01010086
11-deoxycorticosterone Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030087
Allopregnanolone Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030130
Cholesterol Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST01010001
11-deoxycortisol Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030086
20alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030169
Pregnanediol-3-glucuronide Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST05010073
Progesterone Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030159
Pregnenolone Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030088
5alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione Metabolite lipidmaps:LMST02030170
AKR1D1 GeneProduct uniprot:P51857
CYP11A1 GeneProduct uniprot:P05108
SRD5A1 GeneProduct uniprot:P18405
AKR1C1 GeneProduct uniprot:Q04828
SRD5A2 GeneProduct uniprot:P31213
CYP21A2 GeneProduct uniprot:P08686
CYP11A1 GeneProduct uniprot:P05108
CYP11A1 GeneProduct uniprot:P05108
CYP17A1 GeneProduct uniprot:P05093
HSD3B2 GeneProduct uniprot:P26439
HSD3B1 GeneProduct uniprot:P14060
CYP17A1 GeneProduct uniprot:P05093
AKR1C1 GeneProduct uniprot:Q04828


  1. The steroid hormone biosynthesis pathway as a target for endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Sanderson JT. Toxicol Sci. 2006 Nov;94(1):3–21. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Substrate specificity and inhibitor analyses of human steroid 5β-reductase (AKR1D1). Chen M, Drury JE, Penning TM. Steroids. 2011 Apr;76(5):484–90. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  3. Human steroid biosynthesis, metabolism and excretion are differentially reflected by serum and urine steroid metabolomes: A comprehensive review. Schiffer L, Barnard L, Baranowski ES, Gilligan LC, Taylor AE, Arlt W, et al. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2019 Nov;194:105439. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia