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Arima and his group [11] invented a unique microbial conversion process, in which the aliphatic side-chain of cholesterol was cleaved to produce a steroid core as a starting material for chemical synthesis of steroid hormones. Yamada et al. discovered the reverse reaction of the pyridoxal-containing l-amino acid lyases and applied them to synthesize l-tryptophan and l-DOPA [12] from pyruvate, ammonia and corresponding aromatic compounds. Since these early achievements, a variety of unique processes with newly screened microbial enzymes as biocatalysts have been invented.

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Exerpta Medica, Amsterdam, p 90 43. Rinehart KL, Namikoshi M, Choi BW (1994) J Appl Phycol 6:159 44. Demain AL (1980) Search 11:148 45. Howell CR, Stipanovic RD (1983) Can J Microbiol 29:321 46. Gray TR (1976) Symp Soc Gen Microbiol 26:327 47. Bennett JW (1983) In: Bennett JW, Ciegler A (eds) Secondary metabolism and differentiation in fungi. Marcel Dekker, New York, p 1 48. Campbell IM (1984) Adv Microb Physiol 25:1 49. Campbell IM, Doerfler DL, Bird BA, Remaley AT, Rosato LM, Davis BN (1982) In: Krumphanzl V, Sikyta B,Vanek Z (eds) Overproduction of microbial products.

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