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Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. 2009 Aug;32(5):663-71. doi: 10.1007/s00449-008-0290-9. Epub 2008 Dec 30.

Novel biotransformation process of podophyllotoxin to produce podophyllic acid and picropodophyllotoxin by Pseudomonas aeruginosa CCTCC AB93066. Part I: process development.

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State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, 200237, Shanghai, China.


A novel biotransformation process of podophyllotoxin (1) to produce picropodophyllotoxin (2) and podophyllic acid (3) was developed in this work. Eight bacteria which could modify the structure of podophyllotoxin were screened out from the tested fourteen bacteria. The highest conversion of podophyllotoxin (i.e., 70.2 +/- 8.0%) was obtained when Pseudomonas aeruginosa CCTCC AB93066 was used as biocatalyst, so P. aeruginosa was selected as a typical biocatalyst in the following study. Product (2) and (3) were separated through D312 macroporous resin and sephadex LH-20 gel column chromatograph. On the basis of (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, ESI-MS and Elemental Analysis, product (2) and (3) were identified as picropodophyllotoxin (2) and podophyllic acid (3), respectively. This suggested the site-specific isomerization and hydrolization of podophyllotoxin occurred during its biotransformation process by P. aeruginosa. For the first time, podophyllotoxin was biotransformed into its hydrolytic derivate (i.e., podophyllic acid).

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