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Bioresour Technol. 2008 Oct;99(15):6725-37. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.01.039. Epub 2008 Mar 10.

Androstenedione production by biotransformation of phytosterols.

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Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016, India.


Androstenedione is a key intermediate of microbial steroid metabolism. It belongs to the 17-keto steroid family and is used as starting material for the preparation of different steroids. Androstenedione can be produced by microbial side chain cleavage of phytosterol, which is an alternative to multi-step chemical synthesis. In this review, various methods of biotransformation of sterols to androstenedione are surveyed. It begins with the history and current research status in this field. The existing methods of chemical and biochemical synthesis are examined. Various issues related to these methods and how researchers have addressed them is presented. Among these, the low solubility of sterols in aqueous systems is a critical problem since it limits the product yield. The main content of this review focuses on new methods of biotransformation that are being investigated. Recent biotechnological advances in this field are presented. The review ends with a note on future perspectives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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