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Crit Rev Biotechnol. 1988;7(3):187-236.

Biotransformations of steroids.

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  • 1Department of Industrial Microbiology, University of Lodz, Poland.


Different types of microbiological transformation of steroids are reviewed, with special attention given to bioconversions applied in the manufacturing of steroid hormones, i.e., 11 alpha- 11 beta-, 16 alpha-, 17 alpha-hydroxylations and 1-dehydrogenation. Availability and utilization of raw materials for industrial production of steroids of the estrane, androstane, and pregnane series are discussed. Among the current trends in steroid research of a practical nature, immobilization of enzymes and living cells and the spore process are emphasized as alternative techniques of steroid transformation of possible future importance. Efforts to recognize, in cell-free preparations, the components of steroid-transforming enzyme systems as well as the cellular mechanisms of control of their biosynthesis and activity are described in order to illustrate the main subjects of current basic investigation in steroid bioconversion.

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