Sulfation of minoxidil by human liver phenol sulfotransferase

Biochem Pharmacol. 1990 Sep 1;40(5):1027-32. doi: 10.1016/0006-2952(90)90489-8.


The N,O-sulfate of minoxidil (Mnx) is the active agent in producing the vasodilation and the hair-growth stimulating responses observed with Mnx treatment. In this report, Mnx sulfation activity was assayed in cytosol prepared from several normal human livers, and Mnx sulfation was shown to correlate significantly with the activity of the phenol-sulfating form of phenol sulfotransferase (P-PST) activity in the same livers. No correlation was observed between Mnx sulfation and the dopamine or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfotransferase activities present in human liver. Mnx sulfation also copurified with P-PST activity during the purification of P-PST from human liver. During the purification procedure, Mnx and p-nitrophenol sulfotransferase (P-PST) activities were resolved from the dopamine and DHEA sulfation activities catalyzed by the monoamine-sulfating form of phenol sulfotransferase (M-PST) and DHEA sulfotransferase respectively. Also, purified DHEA sulfotransferase was not capable of sulfating Mnx, and no data were obtained to indicate that Mnx is a substrate for M-PST. p-Nitrophenol, a substrate for P-PST, was demonstrated to be a competitive inhibitor of Mnx sulfation catalyzed by purified P-PST when Mnx was the variable substrate. These results indicate that Mnx is sulfated and, therefore, bioactivated by P-PST in human liver.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arylsulfotransferase / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Culture Techniques
  • Cytosol / enzymology
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minoxidil / analogs & derivatives
  • Minoxidil / analysis
  • Minoxidil / metabolism*


  • minoxidil sulfate ester
  • Minoxidil
  • Arylsulfotransferase