CYP17A1 belongs to the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) superfamily of enzymes responsible for the production, activation, and detoxification of a large number of substances in the body including pharmaceutical drugs, hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), corticoids and lipids. CYP17A1 is found in many tissues, including the adrenal glands, gonads, ovaries, heart, kidneys and fat tissue. In the estrogen pathway, CYP17A1 is responsible for the conversion of pregnenolone and progesterone into estrogen precursors including DHEA. Variants on this gene have been associated with increased enzyme activity leading to higher production of estrogen precursors and also with postmenopausal depression and anxiety.