1. The metabolism of 3-(3a alpha-hexahydro-7a beta-methyl-1,5-dioxoindan-4 alpha-yl)propionic acid (III), which is a possible precursor of 2,3,4,6,6a beta, 7,8,9,9a alpha,9b beta-decahydro-6a beta-methyl-1H-cyclopenta[f]quinoline-3,7-dione (II) formed from cholic acid (I) by streptomyces rubescens, was investigated by using the same organism. 2. This organism effected amide bond formation, reduction of the carbonyl groups, trans alpha beta-desaturation and R-oriented beta-hydroxylation of the propionic acid side chain and skeleton cleavage, and the following metabolites were isolated as these forms or their derivatives: compound (II), 1,2,3,4 a beta,-5,6,6a beta,7,8,9a alpha,9b beta-dodecahydro-6a beta -methylcyclopental[f][1]benzopyran-3,7-dione (IVa), (1R)-1,2,3,4a beta,5,6,6a beta,7,8,9.9a alpha,9b beta-dodecahydro-1-hydroxy-6a beta-methylcyclopenta[f][1]benzopyran-3,7-dione (IVb), (E)-3-(3aalpha-hexahydro-5 alpha-hydroxy-7a beta-methyl-l-oxo-indan-4 alpha-yl)prop-2-enoic acid (V), (+)-(5R)-5-methyl-4-oxo-octane-1,8-dioic acid (VI), 3-(4-hydroxy-5-methyl-2-oxo-2H-pyran-6-yl)propionic acid (VII) and 3-(3a alpha-hexahydro-1 beta-hydroxy-7a beta-methyl-5-oxoindan-4 alpha-yl)propionic acid (VIII). The metabolites (IVb), (V), (VI) and (VII) were new compounds, and their structures were established by chemical synthesis. 3. The question of whether these metabolites are true degradative intermediates is discussed, and a degradative pathway of compound (III) to the possible precursor of compound (VII), 7-carboxy-4-methyl-3,5-dioxoheptanoyl-CoA (IX), is tentatively proposed. The further degradation of compound (IX) to small fragments is also considered.

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