Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 403, Issue 6, pp 1491–1500 | Cite as

Recent advances in sulfotransferase enzyme activity assays

  • Priscilla Paul
  • Jiraporn Suwan
  • Jian Liu
  • Jonathan S. Dordick
  • Robert J. LinhardtEmail author


Sulfotransferases are enzymes that catalyze the transfer of sulfo groups from a donor, for example 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate, to an acceptor, for example the amino or hydroxyl groups of a small molecule, xenobiotic, carbohydrate, or peptide. These enzymes are important targets in the design of novel therapeutics for treatment of a variety of diseases. This review examines assays used for this important class of enzyme, paying particular attention to sulfotransferases acting on carbohydrates and peptides and the major challenges associated with their analysis.


When a sulfotransferase transfers a sulfo group from PAPS to RXH (X= or NH) substrate the reaction can be assayed using radiometric, photometric, fluorometric or mass spectrometric methods


Sulfotransferases Sulfonation Carbohydrates Enzyme assays Peptides 



Adenosine diphosphate


Adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate


Aryl sulfotransferase type IV


Adenosine triphosphate


Completely de-sulfonated N-sulfonated heparin




Endocrine-disrupting compound


Electrophoresis-mediated microanalysis


Electrospray ionization–mass spectrometry




Human dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase


High endothelial cell


High-performance liquid chromatography




Turnover number


Inhibition constant


Michaelis–Menten constant




N-Deacetylase N-sulfotransferase type 1


Bacterial carbohydrate sulfotransferase




3′-Phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate










Reversed phase


Sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis




Mycobacterial carbohydrate sulfotransferase


Phenyl sulfotransferase type 1A1


Phenyl sulfotransferase type 1A3


Estrogen sulfotransferase type 1E1


Thin-layer chromatography




Maximum velocity



The authors are grateful to the National Institutes of Health for supporting this research with grants GM38060, HL094463 and HL096972. Priscilla Paul is grateful for an NIH-funded predoctoral fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priscilla Paul
    • 1
  • Jiraporn Suwan
    • 2
  • Jian Liu
    • 3
  • Jonathan S. Dordick
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Robert J. Linhardt
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary StudiesRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  3. 3.Division of Medicinal Chemistry and National Products, College of PharmacyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologyRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biomedical EngineeringRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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