StAR protein is expressed in both medulla and cortex of the bovine and rat adrenal gland

YC Lo*, L Brett, CJ Kenyon, SD Morley, JI Mason, BC Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have employed polyclonal antibodies to a peptide sequence of bovine steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein and human placental 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 beta-HSD) to determine the localisation and distribution of these proteins in rat and bovine adrenal glands. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated the presence of StAR protein in the zona glomerulosa (ZG), zona fasciculata (ZF), zona reticularis (ZR) and in the medulla of both species. For 3 beta-HSD, immunostaining was observed in the ZG, ZF and ZR of the rat adrenal and was absent in the medulla. Immunoblotting experiments showed intense bands for StAR protein (30 kDa, 37 kDa) in the mitochondria of bovine ZG, ZF and medulla and a less intense band (30 kDa) in the microsomes. In rat ZG and ZF/R mitochondria only the 30 kDa protein was present. For 3 beta-HSD, an intense band (42 kDa) was found in microsomes and mitochondria of rat and bovine ZG and ZFR. A very faint signal for 3 beta-HSD was seen in adrenal medulla. In conclusion, StAR (or a closely related) protein is present throughout the adrenal gland in rat and bovine species in contrast to 3 beta-HSD which is confined to the steroidogenic zones. The possible function of StAR protein in the adrenal medulla merits investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-563
Number of pages5
JournalEndocrine research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Event8th Conference on the Adrenal Cortex - ORFORD, Canada
Duration: 13 Jun 199816 Jun 1998




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