Effect of Tween 80 on 9α-steroid hydroxylating activity and ultrastructural characteristics of Rhodococcus sp. cells

  • Tatyana Avramova
  • Dimitrina Spassova
  • Sava Mutafov
  • Svetlana Momchilova
  • Lilyana Boyadjieva
  • Boryana Damyanova
  • Blaga AngelovaEmail author
Original Paper


Studied is the effect of the non-ionic surfactant Tween 80 on the microbial transformation of 4-androstene-3,17-dione into its 9α-hydroxy-derivative by resting Rhodococcus sp. cells. The surfactant was applied in the cultivation medium as an additional source of carbon, in the transformation reaction medium as a mediator of the steroid substrate solubility or was used for permeabilization of the glucose grown Rhodococcus sp. cells. Special attention is paid to the fact that Tween 80 accelerates the 9α-steroid hydroxylation reaction carried out by glucose-grown cells. When the surfactant was applied as a supplementary source of carbon, the rate of the steroid hydroxylation reaction was significantly lower. In addition, the kinetics of the transformation process changed into a linear one thus indicating a very slow, if any, product degradation. The fatty acid profile, cell surface hydrophobicity as well as cell ultrastructure observed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy in the Tween 80- and glucose-grown Rhodococcus sp. cells are compared and related with their 9α-hydroxylating activity.


Androstenedione Rhodococcus 9α-Steroid hydroxylation Tween 80 Ultrastructure 



This work was partly supported by the Foundation for Scientific Investigations of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, Science and Youth (contract HTC 01-161).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatyana Avramova
    • 1
  • Dimitrina Spassova
    • 1
  • Sava Mutafov
    • 1
  • Svetlana Momchilova
    • 1
  • Lilyana Boyadjieva
    • 1
  • Boryana Damyanova
    • 2
  • Blaga Angelova
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Bulgarian Academy of SciencesThe Stephan Angeloff Institute of MicrobiologySofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Bulgarian Academy of SciencesInstitute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of PhytochemistrySofiaBulgaria

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