UGT2B17 is a UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzyme expressed in several extrahepatic steroid target tissues, including the human prostate, where it glucuronidates C19 steroids such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androsterone (ADT), and androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol (3alpha-diol). To determine if UGT2B17 is regulated by physiological effectors of the human prostate, DHT and epidermal growth factor (EGF) were demonstrated to specifically down-regulate the steady-state levels of UGT2B17 transcript and protein in LNCaP cells (Guillemette et al., 1997). These results implicate regulation of UGT2B17 at the level of gene transcription, therefore, a P-1-derived artificial chromosome (PAC) clone of 120 kb containing the entire UGT2B17 gene was isolated. The gene is comprised of six exons spanning approximately 30 kb, and fluorescence in situ hybridization of the UGT2B17 PAC clone to normal human lymphocyte chromosomes, mapped the gene to chromosome 4q13. To determine if the 5'-flanking DNA of the UGT2B17 gene is sufficient to confer gene expression, a 2,942-bp fragment was subcloned into a luciferase reporter plasmid and yielded an activity of 25-fold over background when transfected in LNCaP cells. However, transfection of the construct into HK-293, MCF-7, JEG-3, and HepG2 cells yielded only a moderate activity of two- to five-fold over background. Treatment of transfected LNCaP cells with 10 nM R1881, a nonmetabolizable analog of DHT, and 10 ng/ml EGF decreased the luciferase activity by 60%. This suggests that at least part, if not all, of the inhibitory effect of EGF and DHT on UGT2B17 is at the level of transcription. Progressive 5' deletions of the UGT2B17 5'-flanking region in the luciferase constructs alleviated the inhibition by R1881 and EGF, and revealed several potential responsive elements that may confer the observed regulation of the UGT2B17 gene. This study demonstrates regulation of the UGT2B17 gene by physiological effectors of the human prostate and supports the hypothesis that UGT enzymes are involved in steroid metabolism in extrahepatic tissues.