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Transformation of lithocholic acid to a new bile acid, 3α, 15β-dihydroxy-5β-cholanic acid by Cunninghamella blakesleeana ST-22

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A fungus identified as Cunninghamella blakesleeana (Lendner) can carry out 15β-hydroxylation of lithocholic acid to a new bile acid (3α,15β-dihydroxy-5β-cholanic acid). By optimizing the fermentation conditions, the amount of the product increased from 0.17 g/l to 1.2 g/l. Hydrophilicity measurements and in vitro cholesterol solubilization tests showed that 3α, 15β-dihydroxy-5β-cholanic acid was as effective as ursodeoxycholic acid in cholesterol solubilization.

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lithocholic acid (3α-hydroxy-5β-cholanic acid)

3α, 15β-DHC:

(3α, 15β-dihydroxy-5β-cholanic acid)


dimethyl sulfoxide


2-[N-cyclohexylamino]ethanesulfonic acid


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Correspondence to Takuya Nihira.

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Kulprecha, S., Nihira, T., Yamada, K. et al. Transformation of lithocholic acid to a new bile acid, 3α, 15β-dihydroxy-5β-cholanic acid by Cunninghamella blakesleeana ST-22. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 22, 211–216 (1985).

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  • Cholesterol
  • Fermentation
  • Bile Acid
  • Fermentation Condition
  • Ursodeoxycholic Acid