Enzymatic aspects of the phenol (aryl) sulfotransferases

Drug Metab Rev. 2001 Aug-Nov;33(3-4):369-95. doi: 10.1081/dmr-120001394.


The sulfotransferases that are active in the metabolism of xenobiotics represent a large family of enzymes that catalyze the transfer of the sulfuryl group from 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate to phenols, to primary and secondary alcohols, to several additional oxygen-containing functional groups, and to amines. Restriction of this review to the catalytic processes of phenol or aryl sulfotransferases does not really narrow the field, because these enzymes have overlapping specificity, not only for specific compounds, but also for multiple functional groups. The presentation aims to provide an overview of the wealth of phenol sulfotransferases that are available for study but concentrates on the enzymology of rat and human enzymes, particularly on the predominant phenol sulfotransferase from rat liver. The kinetics and catalytic mechanism of the rat enzyme is extensively reviewed and is compared with observations from other sulfotransferases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arylsulfotransferase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Arylsulfotransferase / chemistry*
  • Arylsulfotransferase / metabolism*
  • Enzymes / chemistry
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Enzymes
  • Arylsulfotransferase