Interindividual variability of the human hepatic sulphotransferases

Chem Biol Interact. 1994 Jun;92(1-3):219-31. doi: 10.1016/0009-2797(94)90065-5.


The variability among subjects of the hepatic activities of O-sulphotransferase towards dopamine, p-nitrophenol, testosterone and ethinyloestradiol and of N-sulphotransferase with 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (TIQ) as substrate is described. The rates of testosterone and TIQ sulphation were higher in men than women whereas those of ethinyloestradiol, dopamine and p-nitrophenol were similar in both sexes. The sulphotransferase activities towards p-nitrophenol and dopamine were positively skewed whereas those towards ethinyloestradiol approached normality. The coefficients of variations for the sulphotransferase activities ranged between 34% and 62% indicating a considerable variability among subjects. The rates of dopamine-, TIQ- and p-nitrophenol-sulphation were measured in the mucosa of the human intestine, and the duodenum/liver ratios were 10, 0.9 and 0.1, respectively. Thus the contribution of the intestine in the sulphation of xenobiotics is substrate dependent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arylsulfotransferase / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / enzymology
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Isoquinolines / metabolism
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sulfotransferases / metabolism*
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Isoquinolines
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline
  • Sulfotransferases
  • ethinylestradiol-17 alpha sulfotransferase
  • testosterone sulfotransferase
  • Arylsulfotransferase
  • Dopamine