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Luteibacter sp., a new bacterium isolated from the soil around a Taxus cuspidata Sieb. et Zucc plant, was studied for its capability to metabolize cephalomannine (1). After preparative fermentation, eight metabolites were obtained and characterized as baccatin III (2), baccatin V (3), 10-deacetylbaccatin III (4), 10-deacetyl-10-oxobaccatin V (5), 7-epicephalomannine (6), 10-deacetylcephalomannine (7), 10-deacetyl-7-epicephalomannine (8), and 3'-N-debenzoyl-3'-N-(2-methylbutyryl)-7-epitaxol (9). Among these metabolites, 9 is a new compound. Epimerization of the 7beta-OH group and hydrolysis of the C-13 side-chain were the two major reactions in this bioprocess. However, the biotransformation of 7beta-D-xylosyl-10-deacetyltaxol (10) with the same strain yielded a C-13 side-chain eliminated product without epimerization at C-7 (11). Metabolites 5-9 and 11, together with 1 and paclitaxel, were evaluated for their inhibitory activities against five human cancer cell lines (HCT-8, Bel-7402, BGC-823, A549, and A2780). All these compounds showed less potent activities than paclitaxel, which is currently used in clinical chemotherapy.


Jianhua Li, Jungui Dai, Xiaoguang Chen, Ping Zhu. Microbial transformation of cephalomannine by Luteibacter sp. Journal of natural products. 2007 Dec;70(12):1846-9

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PMID: 18001087

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