Reduction of bilirubin ditaurate by the intestinal bacterium Clostridium perfringens
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Bilirubin is degraded in the human gut by microflora into urobilinoids. In our study we investigated whether the bilirubin-reducing strain of Clostridium perfringens can reduce bilirubin ditaurate (BDT), a bile pigment of some lower vertebrates, without hydrolysis of the taurine moiety. C. perfringes was incubated under anaerobic conditions with BDT; reduction products were quantified by spectrophotometry and separated by TLC. Based on Rf values of BDT reduction products and synthetic urobilinogen ditaurate, three novel taurine-conjugated urobilinoids were identified. It is likely that bilirubin-reducing enzyme(s) serve for the effective disposal of electrons produced by fermentolytic processes in these anaerobic bacteria.
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