Microbial degradation of steroid sex hormones: implications for environmental and ecological studies

Yin Ru Chiang, Sean Ting Shyang Wei, Po Hsiang Wang, Pei Hsun Wu, Chang Ping Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Steroid hormones modulate development, reproduction and communication in eukaryotes. The widespread occurrence and persistence of steroid hormones have attracted public attention due to their endocrine-disrupting effects on both wildlife and human beings. Bacteria are responsible for mineralizing steroids from the biosphere. Aerobic degradation of steroid hormones relies on O2 as a co-substrate of oxygenases to activate and to cleave the recalcitrant steroidal core ring. To date, two oxygen-dependent degradation pathways – the 9,10-seco pathway for androgens and the 4,5-seco pathways for oestrogens – have been characterized. Under anaerobic conditions, denitrifying bacteria adopt the 2,3-seco pathway to degrade different steroid structures. Recent meta-omics revealed that microorganisms able to degrade steroids are highly diverse and ubiquitous in different ecosystems. This review also summarizes culture-independent approaches using the characteristic metabolites and catabolic genes to monitor steroid biodegradation in various ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-949
Number of pages24
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020

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