Biotransformation of dianabol with the filamentous fungi and β-glucuronidase inhibitory activity of resulting metabolites

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Biotransformation of the anabolic steroid dianabol (1) by suspended-cell cultures of the filamentous fungi Cunninghamella elegans and Macrophomina phaseolina was studied. Incubation of 1 with C. elegans yielded five hydroxylated metabolites 2–6, while M. phaseolina transformed compound 1 into polar metabolites 7–11. These metabolites were identified as 6β,17β-dihydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3-one (2), 15α,17β-dihydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3-one (3), 11α,17β-dihydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3-one (4), 6β,12β,17β-trihydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3-one (5), 6β,15α,17β-trihydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3-one (6), 17β-hydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3,6-dione (7), 7β,17β,-dihydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3-one (8), 15β,17β-dihydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3-one (9), 17β-hydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3,11-dione (10), and 11β,17β-dihydroxy-17α-methylandrost-1,4-dien-3-one (11). Metabolite 3 was also transformed chemically into diketone 12 and oximes 13, and 14. Compounds 6 and 12–14 were identified as new derivatives of dianabol (1). The structures of all transformed products were deduced on the basis of spectral analyses. Compounds 1–14 were evaluated for β-glucuronidase enzyme inhibitory activity. Compounds 7, 13, and 14 showed a strong inhibition of β-glucuronidase enzyme, with IC50 values between 49.0 and 84.9 μM.

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