Biological activity of new bioactive steroids deriving from biotransformation of cortisone

Microb Cell Fact. 2022 Nov 24;21(1):250. doi: 10.1186/s12934-022-01967-2.


Cortisone is a metabolite belonging to the corticosteroid class that is used pharmaceutically directly as a drug or prodrug. In addition to its large consumption, its use is linked to several side effects, so pharmaceutical research aims to develop effective drugs with low or no side effects, alternative compounds to cortisone are part of an active investment in ongoing research on drug discovery. Since biotransformation can be considered a source of new molecules with potential therapeutic use, the present work focuses on a preliminary in vitro study aimed at evaluating the mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective activity of SCA and SCB molecules obtained from the biotransformation of cortisone using Rh. Rhodnii strain DSM 43960. The results obtained are very encouraging due to the safety of biotransformed compounds with reference to genotoxicity checked by Ames test, to the very high antioxidant capacity and to the anti-inflammatory activity. In fact, thecompounds inhibited both the TNFα-stimulated expression and secretion of NFkB target cytokines, and COX activity, and can activate the glucocorticoid receptor. Finally SCA and SCB exhibited neuroprotective properties.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Antioxidant; Biotransformations; Cortisone; Neuroprotective; Steroids.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Biotransformation
  • Cortisone*
  • Steroids


  • Cortisone
  • Antioxidants
  • Steroids
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents