C. A. Villee, M.D.
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Steroid molecules, though superficially complicated, are, in fact, relatively simple flat sheets with only a few reactive groups. Their chemical simplicity is in sharp contrast to their extreme biological specificity. Even more paradoxical are the very similar biological effects of the natural and the synthetic, nonsteroidal estrogens, such as diethylstilbestrol. Steroids are surface-active agents, capable of changing the shape and function of proteins and nucleic acids. Steroids have been postulated to affect the metabolism of tissues (1) by serving as a coenzyme, (2) by affecting the permeability of cell membranes, (3) by stimulating an enzyme, perhaps via an allosteric effect
Villee CA. The Mechanism of Estrogen Action.. Ann Intern Med. 1963;58:721. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-58-4-721_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1963;58(4):721.
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