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The official name of this gene is “cytochrome P450, family 11, subfamily B, polypeptide 1.”
CYP11B1 is the gene's official symbol. The CYP11B1 gene is also known by other names, listed below.
The CYP11B1 gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called 11-beta-hydroxylase. This enzyme is found in the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys. The 11-beta-hydroxylase enzyme is a member of the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes. These enzymes are involved in the formation and breakdown of various molecules within cells.
The 11-beta-hydroxylase enzyme helps produce hormones called cortisol and corticosterone. Specifically, the enzyme helps convert a molecule called 11-deoxycortisol to cortisol, and helps convert another molecule called 11-deoxycorticosterone to corticosterone. These processes are triggered by the release of a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain.
Cortisol helps maintain blood sugar levels, protects the body from physical stress, and suppresses inflammation. Corticosterone is converted to the hormone aldosterone by the aldosterone synthase enzyme, which is produced from the nearby CYP11B2 gene. Aldosterone helps control blood pressure by maintaining proper salt and fluid levels in the body.
The CYP11B1 gene belongs to a family of genes called CYP (cytochrome P450s).
A gene family is a group of genes that share important characteristics. Classifying individual genes into families helps researchers describe how genes are related to each other. For more information, see What are gene families? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/howgeneswork/genefamilies) in the Handbook.
More than 80 mutations in the CYP11B1 gene have been found to cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 11-beta-hydroxylase deficiency, a disorder in which the adrenal glands produce excess male sex hormones (androgens). Most of these mutations change single protein building blocks (amino acids) in the 11-beta-hydroxylase enzyme and decrease the function of the enzyme. CYP11B1 gene mutations that severely reduce or eliminate the function of the enzyme typically result in the classic form of CAH due to 11-beta-hydroxylase deficiency. Mutations that allow for some enzyme function usually result in the non-classic form of the disorder.
Some mutations that cause the classic form of CAH due to 11-beta-hydroxylase deficiency fuse sections of the CYP11B1 gene with sections of a nearby gene called CYP11B2. The added part of the CYP11B2 gene contains a section called a promoter region, which normally controls (regulates) production of the protein made by the CYP11B2 gene. As a result, the CYP11B1 gene is regulated by the CYP11B2 gene promoter region rather than its own promoter region. In addition, the fusion typically deletes parts of the CYP11B1 gene. These changes in the gene's regulation and structure diminish production of 11-beta-hydroxylase.
Both types of CAH due to 11-beta-hydroxylase deficiency interfere with the production of cortisol and corticosterone. The molecules that are used to form these hormones instead build up in the adrenal gland and are converted to androgens. The excess production of androgens leads to abnormalities of sexual development in people with CAH due to 11-beta-hydroxylase deficiency. A buildup of the molecule 11-deoxycorticosterone, the substance that 11-beta-hydroxylase converts to form corticosterone, increases salt retention, leading to high blood pressure (hypertension) in individuals with the classic form of CAH due to 11-beta-hydroxylase deficiency.
A genetic change affecting the CYP11B1 gene causes familial hyperaldosteronism type I, a disorder that leads to hypertension. This change joins (fuses) a section of the CYP11B1 gene called a promoter region, which normally helps start the production of the 11-beta-hydroxylase enzyme, to the section of the CYP11B2 gene that provides instructions for making aldosterone synthase.
By binding to the CYP11B1 gene's promoter region, ACTH normally triggers production of the 11-beta-hydroxylase enzyme. In the fusion gene, ACTH binding abnormally triggers production of aldosterone synthase. High levels of aldosterone synthase result in excessive aldosterone production, which leads to the hypertension associated with familial hyperaldosteronism type I.
Cytogenetic Location: 8q21
Molecular Location on chromosome 8: base pairs 142,872,356 to 142,879,819
The CYP11B1 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 8 at position 21.
More precisely, the CYP11B1 gene is located from base pair 142,872,356 to base pair 142,879,819 on chromosome 8.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/howgeneswork/genelocation) in the Handbook.
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about CYP11B1 helpful.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/mutationsanddisorders/naming) in the Handbook.
acids ; adrenal glands ; aldosterone ; androgens ; breakdown ; congenital ; cytochrome P450 ; deficiency ; enzyme ; familial ; fusion gene ; gene ; hormone ; hyperplasia ; hypertension ; inflammation ; molecule ; pituitary gland ; precursor ; promoter ; promoter region ; protein ; stress
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/glossary).
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/consult/findingprofessional) in the Handbook.