Novel Microbial Transformations of Steroids
In recent years, reactions catalyzed by microbes or their enzymes have been extensively evaluated from the viewpoint of synthetic organic chemistry. These biocatalysts offer greater specificity than conventional organic reactions and hence used as reagents to carry out certain specific chemical reactions. Microbes find use in the synthesis and production of pharmacologically active steroids. Microbial transformation of steroids was recognised after the successful llα-hydroxylation of progesterone by the fungus, Rhizopus arrhizus.1 Microorganisms can be efficiently used to carry out hydroxylation of a steroid molecule at specific positions. A significant amount of work has already been carried out on the microbial steroid transformations.2–4. We isolated two versatile microorganisms identified as Mucor piriformis and Moraxella sp. that carry out novel and preparatively useful transformations of some steroids. The unique properties of these two microorganisms as biocatalyst are presented.
KeywordsCholesterol Fermentation Morphine Testosterone Phenanthrene
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