Microbial Transformation of Cholesterol into Coprostanol: Properties of a 3‐Oxo‐Δ4‐Steroid‐5β‐Reductase

Ingemar Björkhem, Örjan Wrange, Jan‐Åke Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The conversion of 4 cholesten 3 one into 5β cholestan 3 one (coprostanone) by microorganisms in caecal contents from rats was studied. The enzyme activity was present in the soluble part of a homogenate obtained by freeze pressing of caecal contents of rats. The major part of the activity was precipitated between 25 and 50% saturation with ammonium sulfate. The 3 oxo Δ4 steroid 5β reductase activity required NADH as cofactor and was inhibited by p chloromercuribenzoate. The enzyme preparation also catalyzed the reduction of the Δ4 double bond in progesterone and testosterone but did not catalyze reduction of the Δ5 double bond in cholesterol, pregnenolone or dehydroepiandrosterone. The rate of reduction of the Δ4 double bond in progesterone was more than twice as fast as the rate of reduction of the Δ4 double bond in 4 cholesten 3 one. The mechanism of reduction of Δ4 double bonds in 3 oxo Δ4 steroids by the microbial 3 oxy Δ4 steroid 5β reductase was found to involve transfer of hydrogen from the 4B position of NADH to the 5β position of the steroid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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