Conceptualizing the vertebrate sterolbiome

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Vertebrates synthesize a diverse set of steroids and bile acids that undergo bacterial biotransformations. The endocrine literature has principally focused on the biochemistry and molecular biology of host synthesis and tissue-specific metabolism of steroids. Host-associated microbiota possess a coevolved set of steroid and bile acid modifying enzymes that match the majority of host peripheral biotransformations in addition to unique capabilities. The set of host-associated microbial genes encoding enzymes involved in steroid transformations is known as the sterolbiome. This review focuses on the current knowledge of the sterolbiome as well as its importance in medicine and agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • 20-desmolase
  • Androgen
  • Cholesterol
  • Clostridium scindens
  • Microbiome
  • Secondary bile acids
  • Steroid-17
  • Sterolbiome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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