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Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2007;37(4):309-21.

Biotechnological approach to the synthesis of 9alpha-hydroxylated steroids.

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Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


The steroid 9alpha-hydroxylase gene has been cloned from Mycobacterium smegmatis into Escherichia coli BL21. Progesterone added to bioreactors was subjected to in vivo transformation into 9alpha-hydroxyprogesterone. In 7 days, 43.6 mg 9alpha-hydroxyprogesterone was formed from 53.8 mg/L progesterone. The enzyme also has shown evidence of processing 4-androstene-3,17-dione in vivo. An extensive analytical method development, including LLE, HPLC-DAD, MS, and NMR was performed to verify the product and to enable a quantitative analysis. Protocols for analytical and preparative separation have been developed, using binaphtol as internal standard. Both the growth pattern and the bioconversion rate were unaffected by the presence of binaphtol in the bioreactor. The enzyme was purified by immobilised metal affinity and ion exchange chromatography, resulting in low in vitro activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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