Phenylalanine(90) and phenylalanine(93) are crucial amino acids within the estrogen binding site of the human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A10

Steroids. 2007 Jan;72(1):85-94. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2006.11.016. Epub 2006 Dec 15.


Human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A10 has been identified as the major isoform involved in the biotransformation of a wide range of phenolic substrates, including native estrogens and their oxidized metabolites. Our recent studies point to the F(90)-M(91)-V(92)-F(93) amino acid motif of UGT1A10, which was identified using photoaffinity labeling followed by LC-MS/MS analysis, as a key determinant of the binding of phenolic substrates. In this report, we have evaluated the role of F(90), V(92), and F(93) in the recognition of estrogens by UGT1A10 using site-directed mutagenesis. Kinetic studies using five mutants revealed that F(90) and F(93) are critical residues for the recognition of all estrogen substrates. The substitution of F(90) with alanine totally abolished the activity of this enzyme toward all the estrogens investigated. Overall, sequential removal for the aromatic ring (F to L) and of the hydrophobic chain (F to A and V to A) from amino acids 90, 92, and 93 effectively alters estrogen recognition. This demonstrates that individual features of the native and hydroxylated estrogens determine the specific binding properties of the compound within the binding site of the human UGT1A10 and the mutants. The resulting activities are completely abolished, unchanged, increased, or decreased depending on the structures of both the mutant and the substrate. The novel identification of UGT1A10 as the major isoform involved in the glucuronidation of all estrogens and the discovery of the importance of the FMVF motif in the binding of steroids will help to elucidate the molecular mechanism of glucuronidation, resulting in the design of more effective estrogen-based therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Glucuronides / metabolism
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / chemistry*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Phenylalanine / chemistry*
  • Phenylalanine / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Estrogens
  • Glucuronides
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Phenylalanine
  • bilirubin uridine-diphosphoglucuronosyl transferase 1A10
  • Glucuronosyltransferase