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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Isolation of novel microbial 3 alpha-, 3 beta-, and 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases. Purification, characterization, and analytical applications of a 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase from an Alcaligenes sp.

By selecting for growth on testosterone or estradiol-17 beta as the only source of organic carbon, we have isolated a number of soil microorganisms which contain highly active and novel, inducible, NAD-linked 3 alpha-, 3 beta-, and 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases. Such enzymes are suitable for the microanalysis of steroids and of steroid-transforming enzymes, as well as for performing stereoselective oxidations and reductions of steroids. Of particular interest among these organisms is a new species of Alcaligenes containing 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, easily separable from 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Unlike any of the other isolated organisms, this Alcaligenes sp. contained no 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity. A large-scale purification (763-fold) to homogeneity of the major induced 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase was achieved by ion-exchange, hydrophobic, and affinity chromatographies. The enzyme has high specific activity for the oxidation of testosterone (Vmax = 303 mumol/min/mg of protein; Km = 3.6 microM) and reacts almost equally well with estradiol-17 beta (Vmax = 356 mumol/min/mg; Km = 6.4 microM). It consists of apparently identical subunits (Mr = 32,000) and exists in polymeric form under nondenaturing conditions (Mr = 68,000 by gel filtration and 86,000 by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis). The isoelectric point is pH 5. 1. The enzyme is almost completely specific for 17 beta-hydroxysteroids which may be delta 5-olefins or ring A phenols or have cis or trans A/B ring fusions. Substituents at other positions are tolerated, although the presence of a 16 alpha- or 16 beta-hydroxyl group blocks the oxidation of the 17 beta-hydroxyl function. 3 beta-Hydroxysteroids (A/B ring fusion trans, but not cis, or delta 5-olefins) are very poor substrates. The application of this highly active, specific, and stable 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase to the microestimation of steroids by enzymatic cycling of nicotinamide nucleotides and for the stereospecific oxidation of steroids is demonstrated.[1]


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