Phenol sulfotransferase in humans: properties, regulation, and function

Fed Proc. 1986 Jul;45(8):2223-8.


Phenol sulfotransferase (PST) catalyzes the sulfate conjugation of phenolic and catechol drugs and neurotransmitters. All human tissues that have been studied in detail contain at least two forms of PST. One form is thermolabile (TL), catalyzes the sulfate conjugation of micromolar concentrations of dopamine and other phenolic monoamines, and is relatively resistant to inhibition by 2,6-dichloro-4-nitrophenol (DCNP). The other form is thermostable (TS), catalyzes the sulfate conjugation of micromolar concentrations of simple phenols such as p-nitrophenol, and is relatively sensitive to DCNP inhibition. These two forms of PST have been physically separated and partially purified from several human tissues, including an easily accessible tissue, the blood platelet. The biochemical properties of platelet PST are very similar to those of PST in human brain, liver, and small intestine. Individual differences in the basal activity of TS PST in the platelet are correlated with individual variations in the activity of this form of the enzyme in human cerebral cortex (r = .94, n = 15, P less than 0.001). In addition, both platelet TS and TL PST activities are correlated significantly with the extent of sulfate conjugation of orally administered drugs such as acetaminophen and methyldopa. These latter observations are compatible with the conclusions that platelet PST activity may reflect the activity of the enzyme at sites of drug metabolism, and that variation in PST activity is one factor responsible for individual differences in the sulfate conjugation of orally administered drugs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Arylsulfotransferase
  • Biotransformation
  • Blood Platelets / enzymology
  • Catechols / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / enzymology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / enzymology
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Nitrophenols / pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Phosphoadenosine Phosphosulfate / metabolism
  • Sulfurtransferases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sulfurtransferases / metabolism
  • Sulfurtransferases / physiology*


  • Catechols
  • Isoenzymes
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Nitrophenols
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Phenols
  • Phosphoadenosine Phosphosulfate
  • 2,6-dichloro-4-nitrophenol
  • Sulfurtransferases
  • Arylsulfotransferase