Influence of SULT1A1 genetic variation on age at menopause, estrogen levels, and response to hormone therapy in recently postmenopausal white women

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Objective: Onset and symptoms of menopause, and response to hormone therapy (HT) show large interindividual variability. SULT1A1 encodes for a highly expressed enzyme that metabolizes estrogens. We evaluated the relationship between genetic variation in SULT1A1, menopause age, symptoms, and response to HT. Methods: Women enrolled in the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study at Mayo Clinic were randomized to 48 months of treatment with oral conjugated equine estrogen (n=34), transdermal 17β-estradiol (E2) (n=33), or placebo (n=35). Linear regression models and ANOVA were used to test for association of SULT1A1 copy number, rs3760091, rs750155, and rs9282861 (SULT1A1-2), with age at menopause and symptoms, levels of estrogens (estrone [E1], estrone sulfate [E1S], E2, and estradiol sulfate [E2S]), before and after HT. Results: SULT1A1 gene copy number affected the minor allele frequency for each single nucleotide polymorphisms tested. Before administration of exogenous hormones, increasing number of G alleles at rs9282861 was associated with earlier age at menopause (P=0.014), lower frequency of night sweats (P=0.009), and less severe insomnia (P=0.046). After 48 months of treatment, SULT1A1 genotype was not associated with the presence of menopausal symptoms. In women randomized to oral conjugated equine estrogen, increasing number of the A allele at rs750155 was associated with lower E1S and E2S (P=0.004 and 0.017), whereas increasing number of the C allele at rs3760091 was associated with lower E2S/ E2 (P=0.044). Conclusions: Interindividual variability in onset of menopause and symptoms before initiation of HT is explained in part by genetic variation in SULT1A1 and may represent a step toward individualizing HT treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-869
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 26 2016



  • 17β-estradiol
  • Conjugated equine estrogens
  • Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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