Engineering Mycobacterium smegmatis for testosterone production

Lorena Fernandez-Cabezon, Beatriz Galan, Jose L. Garcia

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A new biotechnological process for the production of testosterone (TS) has been developed to turn the model strain Mycobacterium smegmatis suitable for TS production to compete with the current chemical synthesis procedures. We have cloned and overexpressed two genes encoding microbial 17-hydroxysteroid: NADP 17-oxidoreductase, from the bacterium Comamonas testosteroni and from the fungus Cochliobolus lunatus. The host strains were M. smegmatis wild type and a genetic engineered androst-4-ene-3,17-dione (AD) producing mutant. The performances of the four recombinant bacterial strains have been tested both ingrowing and resting-cell conditions using natural sterols and AD as substrates respectively. These strains were able to produce TS from sterols or AD with high yields. This work represents a proof of concept of the possibilities that offers this model bacterium for the production of pharmaceutical steroids using metabolic engineering approaches.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)151-161
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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