Conservation of the hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase SULT2B1 gene structure in the mouse: pre- and postnatal expression, kinetic analysis of isoforms, and comparison with prototypical SULT2A1

Endocrinology. 2003 Apr;144(4):1186-93. doi: 10.1210/en.2002-221011.


A novel mouse hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase cDNA has been cloned, and organization of its gene structure has been determined. The new mouse sulfotransferase, SULT2B1a, and its closely related isoform, SULT2B1b, are derived from a single SULT2B1 gene as a result of an alternative exon I and differential splicing. Thus, the only structural distinction between the two SULT2B1 isoforms is at their amino-terminal ends. Importantly, in contrast to the prototypical mouse hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase SULT2A1, the SULT2B1 isoforms have a predilection for cholesterol. Real-time RT-PCR reveals that the SULT2B1a isoform is most abundantly expressed in the brain and spinal cord, whereas SULT2B1b and SULT2A1 are weakly, if at all, expressed in the central nervous system. On the other hand, the SULT2B1b isoform is the most prominent hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase expressed in skin, whereas SULT2A1 is strikingly expressed in the liver. The substrate specificities and differential expression patterns of the three SULT2 isozymes strongly suggest that they have distinct biologic roles to play. Of further interest, the mouse SULT2B1 and SULT2A1 genes are differentially expressed during embryonic development, with the former being expressed at all stages from E8.5-E19, whereas the latter is not expressed until E19. It is speculated that, during embryonic development, SULT2B1b is required for production of cholesterol sulfate essential for normal skin development, whereas SULT2B1a produces pregnenolone sulfate, an essential neurosteroid during development of the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sulfotransferases / genetics*
  • Sulfotransferases / metabolism*


  • Sulfotransferases
  • SULT2B1 protein, human
  • alcohol sulfotransferase