Approaches to improve the solubility and availability of progesterone biotransformation by Mucor racemosus

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Substrate solubility in steroid biotransformation is critical for improving the biotransformation of hydrophobic substrates. The present investigation describes the effect of some organic solvents, polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate (Tween 80; surfactant) and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), on the biotransformation of progesterone (PR) by Mucor racemosus. PR was transformed to three derivatives namely; 11α-hydroxyprogesterone (11α-HP) as main product (I), 4-pregnen-18-al-11β, 21-diol-3, 20-dione (Aldosterone) (II) and 20-hydroxy-pregnan-18-oic acid (III) as minor products. Among the tested organic solvents, methanol gave the highest total bioconversion efficiency (T.B.E) of 75.0 ± 2.49%. Tween 80 improved PR biotransformation up to 81.56 ± 2.29%, while with an optimum molar ratio of PR to β-CD of 1:1, the TBE was increased to 87.15 ± 2.17% of the added substrate in presence of β-CD. The interaction between PR and β-CD in the inclusion complex was assessed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and infrared (IR) spectra. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.

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