12-Hydroxyjasmonate, also known as tuberonic acid, was first isolated from Solanum tuberosum and was shown to have tuber-inducing properties. It is derived from the ubiquitously occurring jasmonic acid, an important signaling molecule mediating diverse developmental processes and plant defense responses. We report here that the gene AtST2a from Arabidopsis thaliana encodes a hydroxyjasmonate sulfotransferase. The recombinant AtST2a protein was found to exhibit strict specificity for 11- and 12-hydroxyjasmonate with K(m) values of 50 and 10 microm, respectively. Furthermore, 12-hydroxyjasmonate and its sulfonated derivative are shown to be naturally occurring in A. thaliana. The exogenous application of methyljasmonate to A. thaliana plants led to increased levels of both metabolites, whereas treatment with 12-hydroxyjasmonate led to increased level of 12-hydroxyjasmonate sulfate without affecting the endogenous level of jasmonic acid. AtST2a expression was found to be induced following treatment with methyljasmonate and 12-hydroxyjasmonate. In contrast, the expression of the methyljasmonate-responsive gene Thi2.1, a marker gene in plant defense responses, is not induced upon treatment with 12-hydroxyjasmonate indicating the existence of independent signaling pathways responding to jasmonic acid and 12-hydroxyjasmonic acid. Taken together, the results suggest that the hydroxylation and sulfonation reactions might be components of a pathway that inactivates excess jasmonic acid in plants. Alternatively, the function of AtST2a might be to control the biological activity of 12-hydroxyjasmonic acid.