Applied and environmental microbiology

7 alpha-Dehydroxylation of bile acids by resting cells of an unidentified, gram-positive, nonsporeforming anaerobic bacterium.

PMID 6572491


Transformation of bile acids by washed whole cells of strain HD-17, an unidentified gram-positive anaerobic bacterium isolated from human feces, was studied. 7 alpha-Dehydroxylase was produced only during adaptive growth on medium containing 7 alpha-hydroxy bile acids. Both the extent of hydroxylation and the state of conjugation of the bile acids had marked effects on the induction of the enzyme, and the order of the enzyme induction was conjugated cholic acid much greater than cholic acid greater than taurochenodeoxycholic acid greater than or equal to chenodeoxycholic acid. The addition of excess glucose to the growth medium appreciably reduced the enzyme level. The induced enzyme required strict anaerobic conditions for activity and had an optimal pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. In contrast with the induction of the enzyme, the induced enzyme showed a low degree of substrate specificity between cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid, with some preference for the former. In addition, the organism contained 3 alpha-, 7 alpha-, and 12 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases, and the addition of bile acids to the medium somewhat enhanced the production of the oxidoreductases. The dehydrogenations were obviously stimulated by oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor. The organism also contained bile salt hydrolase.