The sulfotransferase (SULT) family comprises important phase II conjugation enzymes for the detoxification of xenobiotics and modulation of the activity of physiologically important endobiotics such as thyroid hormones, steroids, and neurotransmitters. SULT enzymes catalyze the transfer of a sulfuryl group, donated by 3-phosphoadenosine-5- phosphosulfate (PAPS), to an acceptor substrate that may be a hydroxy group or an amine group in a process originally called sulfation, but more correctly referred to as sulfonation or sulfurylation. SULT activity may be inhibited when humans are exposed to certain xenobiotics including drugs (mefenamic acid, salicylic acid, clomiphene, danazol etc.), dietary chemicals (catechins, food colorants, flavonoids and phytoestrogens etc.), and environmental chemicals (hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls, hydroxylated polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, pentachlorophenol, triclosan and bisphenol A, etc.). Inhibition of individual SULT isoforms may cause adverse effects on human health. For example, hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls have been shown to interfere with the transport of thyroid hormones, inhibit estradiol sulfonation, and inhibit thyroid hormone sulfonation, thereby potentially disrupting the thyroid hormone system. Formation of sulfate conjugates of toxic xenobiotics usually decreases their toxicity, so inhibition of this pathway may lead to prolonged exposure to the compounds. Conversely, some sulfate conjugates are chemically reactive, inhibition of their formation may protect from toxicity. This manuscript will review the literature concerning the inhibition of SULTs by xenobiotics including isoform-selective effects, inhibition kinetics and health effects resulting from the inhibition.
Sulfotransferases, sulfonation (sulfation), inhibition, inhibitors, xenobiotics
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, PO Box 100485,Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.