An investigation into fungal metabolism of halogenated and related steroids
Thomas, Everton M.
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Fungal metabolism of halogenated and related steroids was investigated. The fungi Aspergillus niger ATCC 9142, Curvularia lunata NRRL 2380 and Rhizopus stolonifer ATCC6227b were studied in this regard. 2l-Fluoro-, 2l-chloro, 2l-bromo- and 2l-methyl-pregn-4-ene-3,20diones were prepared and incubated with ~ niger (a C-2l-hydroxylator) in order to observe the effect of the C-2l substituent on the metabolism of these substrates. In all four cases, the C-2l substituent prevented any significant metabolism of these substrates. llB-Fluoropregn-4-ene-3,20-dione was prepared and incubated with C. lunata (an llB-hydroxylator) and ~ stolonifer (an lla-hydroxylator). With ~ lunata, the ll-fluoro- substituent prevent hydroxylation at the 11 position, but diverted it to a site remote from the fluorine atom. In contrast, with ~ stolonifer the llB-fluoro- substituent, although slowing the apparent rate of hydroxylation, did not prevent its occurrence at the 11a- position. llB-Hydroxypregn-4-ene-3,20-dione was also incubated with R. stolonifer. The llB-hydroxy-;group did not appear to have any significant effect on hydroxylation at the lla- position. The incubation of a substrate, unsaturated at a favoured site of hydroxylation with Rhizopus arrhizus ATCC 11145 provided a complex mixture of products; among them were both the a and S epoxides. The formation of these products is rationalized as arising because of the lack of regio- and stereospecificity of the hydroxylase enzyme(s) involved.