Minireview design and interpretation of human sulfotransferase a1 assays

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17 Scopus citations


The human sulfotransferases (SULTs) regulate the activities of hundreds, if not thousands, of small molecule metabolites via transfer of the sulfuryl-moiety (-SO3) from the nucleotide donor, 39- phosphoadenosine 59-phosphosulfate (PAPS) to the hydroxyls and amines of the recipients. Our understanding of the molecular basis of SULT catalysis has expanded considerably in recent years. The basic kinetic mechanismof these enzymes, previously thought to be ordered, has been redefined as random for SULT2A1, a representative member of the superfamily. An active-site cap whose structure and dynamics are highly responsive to nucleotides was discovered and shown to be critical in determining SULT selectivity, a topic of longstanding interest to the field. We now realize that a given SULT can operate in two specificity modes-broad and narrow-depending on the disposition of the cap. More recent work has revealed that the caps of the SULT1A1 are controlled by homotropic allosteric interactions between PAPS molecules bound at the dimer's active sites. These interactions cause the catalytic efficiency of SULT1A1 to vary in a substrate-dependent fashion by as much as two orders of magnitude over a range of PAPS concentrations that spans those found in human tissues. SULT catalysis is further complicated by the fact that these enzymes are frequently inhibited by their substrates. This review provides an overview of the mechanistic features of SULT1A1 that are important for the design and interpretation of SULT1A1 assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-484
Number of pages4
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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