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Current Drug Metabolism


ISSN (Print): 1389-2002
ISSN (Online): 1875-5453

Structure, Function and Polymorphism of Human Cytosolic Sulfotransferases

Author(s): Yong Li, Julian Lindsay, Lin-Lin Wang and Shu-Feng Zhou

Volume 9, Issue 2, 2008

Page: [99 - 105] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/138920008783571819

Price: $65


The sulfotransferase (SULTs) catalyzes the sulfonation of a multitude of xenobiotics, hormones and neurotransmitters. This review has summarised the SULT family in detail, the structure of the twelve known enzymes, in their four known groups (SULT1, SULT2, SULT4, and SULT6) and the substrates for each respective SULT. Hepatic sulfonation is a common phase II metabolic mechanism for increasing molecular hydrophilicity in preparation for biliary excretion or efflux across the hepatic basolateral membrane for subsequent renal clearance. To date, a total of 13 human cytosolic SULT genes have been identified which spread across four families; SULT1, SULT2, SULT4, and SULT6. The established structures of SULTs provide evidence for both enzyme/substrate and enzyme/ cofactor binary complexes, consistent with a random bi-bi mechanism and ruling out an ordered mechanism in which binding of substrate requires binding of cofactor (or vice versa). Members of the SULT1 family have demonstrated the ability to sulfonate simple (small planar) phenols including estradiol, thyroid hormones, environmental xenobiotics and drugs. The SULT2 family members catalyze sulfonation of hydroxyl groups of steroids, such as androsterone, allopregnanolone, and dehydroepiandrosterone. As yet, no known substrate or function has been identified for the SULT4 family, and the SULT6B1 gene, expressed in the testis of primates, has neither the protein nor its enzymatic activity characterized. The extent of nucleotide variation found in members of the SULT gene family is similar to that observed for other groups of human genes. Substrate inhibition was observed for most substrates with a trend in maximum velocity (Vmax) of *1 > *3 > *2. There does appear to be an inter-ethnic/inter-racial difference in the incidence of the various SULT1A1 alleles also. There is mounting evidence to suggest that further research and understanding in the area of phase II metabolism and the SULT enzyme will have a great benefit in a clinical setting. Already research in the field is finding links with cancer and sulfonation-related disease, promising to deliver great advances in clinical practice in the future.

Keywords: Sulfotransferase, sulfonation, polymorphism, toxicity

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