Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 98, Issue 4, pp 1497–1506 | Cite as

Transformation of saturated nitrogen-containing heterocyclic compounds by microorganisms

  • Igor A. ParshikovEmail author
  • Eliane O. Silva
  • Niege A. J. C. Furtado


The saturated nitrogen-containing heterocyclic compounds include many drugs and compounds that may be used as synthons for the synthesis of other pharmacologically active substances. The need for new derivatives of saturated nitrogen-containing heterocycles for organic synthesis, biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry, including optically active derivatives, has increased interest in microbial synthesis. This review provides an overview of microbial technologies that can be valuable to produce new derivatives of saturated nitrogen-containing heterocycles, including hydroxylated derivatives. The chemo-, regio- and enantioselectivity of microbial processes can be indispensable for the synthesis of new compounds. Microbial processes carried out with fungi, including Beauveria bassiana, Cunninghamella verticillata, Penicillium simplicissimum, Aspergillus niger and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and bacteria, including Pseudomonas sp., Sphingomonas sp. and Rhodococcus erythropolis, biotransform many substrates efficiently. Among the biological activities of saturated nitrogen-containing heterocyclic compounds are antimicrobial, antitumor, antihypertensive and anti-HIV activities; some derivatives are effective for the treatment and prevention of malaria and trypanosomiasis, and others are potent glycosidase inhibitors.


Microbial transformation Nitrogen heterocycles Pharmacology Synthesis 



We thank Dr. Vitaly Lashin (ACD/Labs, Moscow) for the consultations in organic chemistry and Dr. John B. Sutherland (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for the great help with English.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor A. Parshikov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eliane O. Silva
    • 2
  • Niege A. J. C. Furtado
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Applied MechanicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão PretoUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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