Cholesterol oxidase (CHOx), a FAD-dependent enzyme of the oxido-reductase family catalyzes the oxidation of cholesterol to cholestenone. CHOx is produced by a large number of bacterial species, and the actinomycetes being most prolific group. Being an enzyme of great commercial value, CHOx has drawn significant attention due to its use in determination of cholesterol level in various clinical and food samples and because of its novel applications in biosensors. In addition, the enzyme also finds application as an insecticide and in bio-catalysis for the synthesis of a number of steroids. Moreover, CHOx is also implicated in the bacterial pathogenesis and in the cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and other heart diseases. These applications and pathological processes stress the need for screening and isolation of novel CHOx and enhancing knowledge about its structural and functional aspects. In present review we discuss the microbial sources, production including use of recombinant microbes, characterization, immobilization and major applications of CHOx.
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