from J.L. García , Iria Uhía, Esther García and Beatriz Galán writing in Microbial Bioremediation of Non-metals: Current Research:
Cholesterol is a steroid highly abundant in the environment that plays a major role in the global carbon cycle. Many synthetic steroidic compounds like some sexual hormones frequently appear in municipal and industrial wastewaters, acting as environmental pollutants with strong metabolic activities negatively affecting the ecosystems. Since these compounds are common carbon sources for many different microorganisms their aerobic and anaerobic mineralization has been extensively studied. The interest of these studies lies on the biotechnological applications of sterol transforming enzymes for the industrial synthesis of sexual hormones and corticoids. Very recently the catabolism of cholesterol has acquired a high relevance because it is involved in the infectivity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This review describes the current knowledge on the catabolism of cholesterol and related steroids in bacteria both at biochemical and genetic levels.
Further reading: Microbial Bioremediation of Non-metals: Current Research