Microbial biotransformation is a great model system to produce drugs and biologically active compounds. In this study, we elucidated the fermentation and production of an anti-cancer agent from a microbial process for regiospecific hydroxylation of resveratrol. Among the strains examined, a potent strain showed high regiospecific hydroxylation activity to produce piceatannol. In a 5 L (w/v 3 L) jar fermentation, this wild type Streptomyces
sp. in the batch system produced 205 mg of piceatannol (i.e.
, 60% yields) from 342 mg of resveratrol in 20 h. Using the product, an in vitro
anti-cancer study was performed against a human cancer cell line (HeLa). It showed that the biotransformed piceatannol possessed a significant anticancer activity. This result demonstrates that a biotransformation screening method might be of therapeutic interest with respect to the identification of anti-cancer drugs.
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