Human liver dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase: Molecular cloning and expression of cDNA

D. M. Otterness, E. D. Wieben, T. C. Wood, R. W.G. Watson, B. J. Madden, D. J. McCormick, R. M. Weinshilboum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Sulfation is an important pathway in the metabolism of many hormones and drugs. Human liver contains at least three well characterized sulfotransferase (ST) enzymes, i.e., dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) ST and two forms of phenol sulfotransferase (PST). Our goal was to purify, to obtain partial amino acid sequence for, and to clone and express cDNA for human liver DHEA ST. Polymerase chain reaction primers were designed on the basis of homology among rat liver hydroxysteroid ST, rat liver PST, and bovine estrogen ST. These primers amplified a unique sequence from human liver cDNA, and this polymerase chain reaction product was used to screen a human liver cDNA library. Two clones were isolated that contained identical open reading frames, of 855 nucleotides, that encoded a protein of 285 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of the encoded protein included two separate 27- and 23-amino acid sequences that were identical to those obtained by microsequencing of proteolytic fragments from purified human liver DHEA ST. Translation, in a rabbit reticulocyte lysate system, of mRNA transcribed in vitro from the two cDNA clones resulted in a 35-kDa translation product that comigrated with purified human liver DHEA ST during sodium dodecyl sulfate- polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. This translation product also catalyzed the sulfation of DHEA but not the sulfation of model substrates for the two forms of PST found in human liver. The two cDNA clones were also used to create expression constructs with the eukaryotic expression vector P91023(B), and these constructs were used to transfect COS-1 cells. The transfected cells expressed a high level of DHEA ST activity, and this enzyme activity displayed a pattern of inhibition by the ST inhibitor 2,6-dichloro-4- nitrophenol identical to that of human liver DHEA ST. Cloning of cDNA for this important human sulfate-conjugating enzyme will enhance understanding of the relationship between DHEA ST and other human liver STs, as well as ST enzymes in other species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-872
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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