Protein Sulfation

  • S. Hemmerich
Reference work entry


Sulfation of glycoproteins, glycolipis, and proteoglycans is a post-translational modification fundamental to developmental biology, immunology, and neurobiology, as well as disease processes in cancer, inflammation and central nervous system disorders. The enzymes at the heart of biological sulfation are the Golgi compartment-associated sulfotransferases which decorate their substrates with specific sulfated epitopes (sulfotopes) that eventually become exposed to the extracellular environment and comprise novel binding sites for biological effector molecules facilitating cell-cell and cell-matrix communication. This review discusses a number of well defined sulfotopes with important biological roles, such as found on the ligands for the proinflammatory adhesion molecules L- and P-selectin, on pituitary gland hormones, on chemokine receptors involved in inflammation and virology, as well as on proteoglycans involved in hemostasis, growth factor mobilization and neural plasticity. Regulation of sulfotopes occurs often at the level of the underlying sulfotransferase(s), and in some cases also by specific endo-sulfatases. This review also classifies the human sulfotransferase complement and discusses the potential of sulfotransferase inhibition for novel therapies of important human diseases.


Heparan Sulfate Chondroitin Sulfate Experimental Autoimmune Encephalitis Golgi Compartment Tyrosine Sulfation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate


chorioallantoic membrane


collagen-induced arthritis


chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans


cerebroside ST


experimental autoimmune encephalitis


fibroblast growth factors








GlcNAc 6-O-sulfate




high endothelial venule


heparan sulfate


heparan sulfate proteoglycans






multiple sclerosis


3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate


platelet-derived growth factor


peripheral vascular addressin


P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1


rheumatoid arthritis


sialyl Lewis x






vascular endothelial growth factor


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  • S. Hemmerich

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