17-OH progesterone is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal cortex and ovaries. It belongs to the group gestagens and serves as a precursor for the synthesis of glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoid and androgens in the adrenal cortex. It moves these different pathways based on the enzymes involved. Down the glucocorticoid pathway, an enzyme 21-alpha hydroxylase converts 17-OH progesterone to 11-deoxycortisol, the immediate precursor of cortisol. Absence of deficiency of the enzyme shifts the synthesis process away from glucocorticoids towards the androgens. This deficiency results in congenital adrenogential syndrome which is characterized by an excess of androgens and deficiency of mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids (cortisol). Such females have virilization (development of male like features such as growth of hair on face).
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