Phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of human SULT4A1: role of Erk1 and PP2A

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Jan;1813(1):231-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2010.09.011. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


SULT4A1 is a cytosolic sulfotransferase that shares little homology with other human sulfotransferases but is highly conserved between species. It is found in neurons located in several regions of the brain. Recently, the stability of SULT4A1 was shown to be regulated by Pin1, a peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases. Since Pin1 binds preferentially to phosphoproteins, these findings suggested that SULT4A1 is post-translationally modified. In this study, we show that the Thr(11) residue of SULT4A1, which is involved in Pin1 binding is phosphorylated. MEK inhibition was shown to abolish Pin1 mediated degradation of SULT4A1 while in vitro phosphorylation assays using alanine substitution mutants of SULT4A1 demonstrated phosphorylation of Thr(11) by ERK1. We also show that dephosphorylation was catalyzed by the protein phosphatase 2A. The PP2A regulatory subunit, Bβ was identified from a yeast-2-hybrid screen of human brain cDNA as a SULT4A1 interacting protein. This was further confirmed by GST pull-downs and immunoprecipitation. Other members of the B subunit (αδγ) did not interact with SULT4A1. Taken together, these studies indicate that SULT4A1 stability is regulated by post-translational modification that involves the ERK pathway and PP2A. The phosphorylation of SULT4A1 allows interaction with Pin1, which then promotes degradation of the sulfotransferase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3 / metabolism*
  • NIMA-Interacting Peptidylprolyl Isomerase
  • PC12 Cells
  • Peptidylprolyl Isomerase / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Phosphatase 2 / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Rats
  • Sulfotransferases / metabolism*
  • Threonine
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • NIMA-Interacting Peptidylprolyl Isomerase
  • Threonine
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • SULT4A1 protein, human
  • Sulfotransferases
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • PIN1 protein, human
  • Peptidylprolyl Isomerase