Production of androgens by microbial transformation of progesterone in vitro: A model for androgen production in rivers receiving paper mill effluent

Academic Article


  • We have previously documented the presence of progesterone and androstenedione in the water column and bottom sediments of the Fenholloway River, Taylor County, Florida. This river receives paper mill effluent and contains masculinized female mosquitofish. We hypothesized that plant sterols (e.g., β-sitosterol) derived from the pulping of pine trees are transformed by bacteria into progesterone and subsequently into 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, and other androgens. In this study, we demonstrate that these same androgens can be produced in vitro from the bacterium Mycobacterium smegmatis. In a second part to this study, we reextracted and reanalyzed the sediment from the Fenholloway River and verified the presence of androstadienedione, a Δ1 steroid with androgen activity.
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    Author List

  • Jenkins RL; Wilson EM; Angus RA; Howell WM; Kirk M; Moore R; Nance M; Brown A
  • Start Page

  • 1508
  • End Page

  • 1511
  • Volume

  • 112
  • Issue

  • 15