A proposed nomenclature system for the cytosolic sulfotransferase (SULT) superfamily

Pharmacogenetics. 2004 Mar;14(3):199-211. doi: 10.1097/00008571-200403000-00009.


A nomenclature system for the cytosolic sulfotransferase (SULT) superfamily has been developed. The nomenclature guidelines were applied to 65 SULT cDNAs and 18 SULT genes that were characterized from eukaryotic organisms. SULT cDNA and gene sequences were identified by querying the GenBank databases and from published reports of their identification and characterization. These sequences were evaluated and named on the basis of encoded amino acid sequence identity and, in a few cases, a necessity to maintain historical naming convention. Family members share at least 45% amino acid sequence identity whereas subfamily members are at least 60% identical. cDNAs which encode amino acid sequences of at least 97% identity to each other were assigned identical isoform names. We also attempted to categorize orthologous enzymes between various species, where these have been identified, and the nomenclature includes a species descriptor. We present recommendations for the naming of allelic variants of SULT genes and their derived allozymes arising from single nucleotide polymorphisms and other genetic variation. The superfamily currently comprises 47 mammalian SULT isoforms, one insect isoform and eight plant enzymes, and collectively these sequences represent nine separate SULT families and 14 subfamilies. It is hoped that this nomenclature system will be widely adopted and that, as novel SULTs are identified and characterized, investigators will name their discoveries according to these guidelines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytosol / enzymology*
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics*
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Multigene Family*
  • Phylogeny
  • Sulfotransferases / classification*
  • Sulfotransferases / genetics*
  • Terminology as Topic*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Sulfotransferases