Sulfation of flavonoids and other phenolic dietary compounds by the human cytosolic sulfotransferases

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Aug 3;285(5):1175-9. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2001.5316.


The protective effects of diet, especially soya products, tea, and many fruits, against a variety of human cancers, as suggested by epidemiological studies, has focused attention on flavonoids, isoflavonoids, and other phenolic dietary compounds as chemoprotectants. Among the mechanisms suggested for their chemoprotective action, their ability to inhibit the bioactivation of carcinogens by the human cytosolic sulfotransferases (STs) and the direct effects of their sulfoconjugates are being increasingly studied. We report here a systematic study on the sulfation of representative flavonoids, isoflavonoids, anti-oxidants, and other phenolic dietary compounds by all ten known human cytosolic STs. All ten recombinant human cytosolic STs were prepared in a pure form and tested for their sulfating activities with a variety of these compounds. P-form (SULT1A1) phenol ST (PST) showed high sulfating activity with most of these compounds. M-form (SULT1A3) PST showed high activity with the flavonoids but not with the isoflavonoids. SULT1C ST #2 showed high activity with the isoflavonoids and also sulfated most of the other compounds. Possible relevance of these results to the chemoprotective effects of these dietary compounds is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Cytosol / chemistry
  • Cytosol / enzymology*
  • Flavonoids / chemistry*
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / chemistry
  • Isoflavones / metabolism
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sulfates / chemistry*
  • Sulfates / metabolism
  • Sulfotransferases / chemistry*
  • Sulfotransferases / isolation & purification


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Isoflavones
  • Phenols
  • Sulfates
  • Sulfotransferases