Molecular characterization of a testis-specific estrogen sulfotransferase and aberrant liver expression in obese and diabetogenic C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice

Endocrinology. 1995 Jun;136(6):2477-84. doi: 10.1210/endo.136.6.7750469.


Sulfation represents a major pathway for the inactivation of steroid hormones such as estrogens and is catalyzed by a group of enzymes called sulfotransferases. Aberrant regulation of an estrogen sulfotransferase has been demonstrated previously in the livers of obese and diabetogenic C57BL/KsJ-db/db strain mice. In this paper, we report the molecular cloning and functional characterization of a full-length complementary DNA for estrogen sulfotransferase from mouse testis. The mouse estrogen sulfotransferase complementary DNA encodes 295 amino acids. It shares 88%, 77%, 75%, and 68% identity in amino acid sequence with the rat liver, human liver, guinea pig adrenal, and bovine placental estrogen sulfotransferase, respectively. The mouse enzyme was expressed as a glutathione-S-transferase fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The fusion protein was affinity purified, and milligram quantities of pure enzyme were obtained after cleavage of the fusion protein with thrombin. The expressed enzyme exhibits a high substrate specificity toward estrogens, including estradiol and estrone. Neither dehydroepiandrosterone, pregnenolone, testosterone, nor a simple phenolic compound, 4-nitrophenol appears to be a substrate. Northern hybridization indicates that messenger RNA (1.3 kilobases) for the estrogen sulfotransferase is expressed exclusively in the testes in control C57BL/KsJ mice. However, both the messenger RNA and protein are dramatically induced in the livers of obese and diabetogenic C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice. In contrast to the liver, the constitutive expression of the enzyme in the testis is not affected by the db/db genotype. These results recapitulate the species-specific nature in the tissue distribution of estrogen sulfotransferase and suggest complex regulatory mechanisms in its expression under normal and pathophysiological conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cattle
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rats
  • Sulfotransferases / genetics*
  • Testis / enzymology*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • DNA
  • Sulfotransferases
  • estrone sulfotransferase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/S78182