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Assignment 1.1: What Are Estrogen And Progesterone?

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EPCHEM137 Foundation Concepts for Chemistry and Life Sciences
Research Assignment 1

1: What are Estrogen and Progesterone?
Estrogen and Progesterone are a steroid hormone that are derived from Cholesterol.
Estrogen and progesterone are what regulate the menstrual cycle, puberty and development of breast tissue and characteristics of male and female, development of the uterus and genitals and lastly preparing the uterus for pregnancy (1)
For Progesterone to be formed there are a few steps that occur first.
Firstly, CYPIIAI removes the 6-sided carbon chain from Cholesterol (C22-C27). This process produces the steroid Pregnenolone (C21). This is an intermediate steroid. It is still an important step as progesterone, among others including
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Cholesterol is a form of steroid and it is what the sex hormones are derived from. Estrogen and progesterone hormones are synthesized from cholesterol within the adrenal gland.
Cholesterol is insoluble in water and is a hydrophobic molecule. It has 27 carbon atoms which includes a 6-sided carbon chain (2)
ACTH and LH are hormones that stimulate cholesterol to be converted to pregnenolone and takes place in the mitochondria.
Cholesterol is formed and stored within the liver. It then enters into cells as High density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL)
LDL is known as the BAD cholesterol (10). When the level of LDL becomes more than the level of cholesterol needed within the tissue it starts to disperse the extra cholesterol into the arteries.
HDL is known as the GOOD cholesterol. Instead of HDL depositing cholesterol into the arteries like LDL does when there is an excess amount within the tissue, HDL actually carries it to the liver. The liver then eliminates it.
High levels of estrogen increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing the ‘bad’ cholesterol HDL and causing low LDL ‘good’ cholesterol. This has a flow one affect. With increased cardiovascular disease also come hypertension and
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Testosterone still have the same number of carbon atoms (21) as progesterone and aldosterone. This is where testosterone differs slightly. Estrogen is derived from testosterone.
Testosterone, after being converted to pregnenolone via CYPIIAI. 17α-hydroxysteroid converts to testosterone and 3β-HSD (3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase) and CYP17 converts to androstenedione. (2) CYP19 the aromatase enzyme is expressed by the Sertoli cells. This then transforms a small amount of testosterone into estadiol-17β (estrogen). Also, giving it the aromatic A-ring and a C18 structure with the loss of the 19-Methyl (4). Estrogen receptors are also expressed in an isoform within the human sperm cells (2).
Testosterone has the same metabolic effect as estrogen and progesterone does on LDL and HDL. While increasing LDL and decreasing HDL it also promotes red blood cell production, bone health and growth, dispersion of adipose tissue and an anabolic effect on muscle
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