Pharmacogenetics of human cytosolic sulfotransferases

Oncogene. 2006 Mar 13;25(11):1673-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1209376.


Cytosolic sulfotransferases (SULTs) are phase II detoxification enzymes that are involved in the biotransformation of a wide variety of structurally diverse endo- and xenobiotics, including many therapeutic agents and endogenous steroids. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SULTs have functional consequences on the translated protein. For the most part, these SNPs are fairly uncommon in the population, but some, most notably for SULT isoform 1A1, are commonly found and have been associated with cancer risk for a variety of tumor sites and also with response to therapeutic agents. SNPs in the hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase, SULT2A1, have been identified in African-American subjects and influence the ratio of plasma DHEA:DHEA-S. This modification could potentially influence cancer risk in steroidogenic tissues. SNPs in many SULTs are ethnically distributed, another factor that could influence SULT pharmacogenetics. Finally, genetic variation has also been identified in 3'-phosphoadenoside 5'-phosphosulfate synthetase (PAPPS), the enzymes responsible for producing the obligatory cosubstrate for all sulfotransferases. Taken together, this variability could substantially influence the disposition of drugs metabolized by SULTs. Elucidation of the basis and effect of variability in sulfation could greatly impact individualized therapy in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / genetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Arylsulfotransferase / genetics*
  • Arylsulfotransferase / metabolism*
  • Ethnicity
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pharmacogenetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Sulfotransferases / genetics*
  • Sulfotransferases / metabolism*
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Isoenzymes
  • Xenobiotics
  • Sulfotransferases
  • Arylsulfotransferase
  • SULT1A1 protein, human
  • alcohol sulfotransferase