Chromosome 10: gene which creates cortisol, Matt Ridley
Interviewee: Matt Ridley.
The gene CYP17, located on chromosome 10, is responsible for making an enzyme that converts cholesterol into several different hormones. One of these hormones, cortisol, turns genes on or off to regulate our physical responses to stressful situations.
(DNAi Location: Genome > Tour > Genome spots > Stress genes > A chromosome 10 story)
On chromosome 10, there's a gene which makes an enzyme which creates cortisol from cholesterol. Cortisol is the body's stress hormone. When you feel very stressed, it's caused by having cortisol in your blood system. Cortisol goes around switching on and off genes and that changes your behavior and your sensations." +" This means that external events in your life, which change the stress you're under, can actually change your genes. It can switch on some genes and switch off others. So our genes are at the mercy of our behavior, as well as our behavior being at the mercy of our genes.