Steroid sulfation by expressed human cytosolic sulfotransferases

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1994 Mar;48(4):369-75. doi: 10.1016/0960-0760(94)90077-9.


The human cytosolic sulfotransferases (STs), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase (DHEA-ST) and the phenol-sulfating form of phenol sulfotransferase, (P-PST), have been expressed in bacteria and used to investigate the ability of the cloned enzymes to conjugate steroids and related compounds. DHEA-ST was capable of sulfating all of the 3-hydroxysteroids, testosterone and estrogens tested as substrates. The 3-hydroxysteroids, androsterone, epiandrosterone and androstenediol, were conjugated at 50-60% of the rate of DHEA. Of the steroids tested, P-PST was capable of conjugating only the estrogens. The catechol estrogens, 2-hydroxyestradiol, 4-hydroxyestradiol and 4-hydroxyestrone, and compounds with estrogenic activity such as 17 alpha-ethynyl-estradiol and trans-4-hydroxytamoxifen, were also tested as substrates. DHEA-ST showed little or no sulfation activity with these compounds; however, all of these compounds were sulfated by P-PST. These results indicate that the expressed human STs are valuable in analyzing the overlapping substrate specificities of these enzymes and that P-PST may have an important role in the metabolism of estrogens and estrogenic compounds in human tissues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Androstenediol / metabolism
  • Androsterone / metabolism
  • Arylsulfotransferase / genetics
  • Arylsulfotransferase / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cytosol / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Estrogens / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Steroids / metabolism*
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sulfates / metabolism*
  • Sulfotransferases / genetics
  • Sulfotransferases / metabolism*
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • Estrogens
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Steroids
  • Sulfates
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenediol
  • Androsterone
  • Sulfotransferases
  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase
  • Arylsulfotransferase