Biotransformation of Progesterone by Whole Cells of Filamentous Fungi Aspergillus brasiliensis.
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Microbial steroid biotransformations have found a wide-reaching application for the production of more precious and functionalized compounds due to their high regio-and stereo selectivity. In this study, the possibility of using filamentous fungi Aspergillus brasiliensiscells in the biotransformation of progesterone, a C-21 steroid hormone was studied for the first time. The fungal strain was inoculated into the transformation medium supplemented with progesterone as a substrate. Biotransformation of this steroid for 7 days afforded 3 different hydroxylated metabolites: 11α-hydroxy progesterone; 14α-hydroxyprogesteroneand21-hydroxyprogesterone. The metabolites were separated by thin layer chromatography. Structure determinations of the metabolites were performed by comparing NMR, MS and IR spectra of the starting compound with those of metabolites. These results may be of industrial importance because the metabolites can be used as precursor of some steroid drugs.