Experimental dermatology

Molecular biology of the human cytosolic sulfotransferase gene superfamily implicated in the bioactivation of minoxidil and cholesterol in skin.

PMID 10439254


Cytosolic sulfotransferases (ST) catalyze the sulfation of various phenolic agents, catecholamines, thyroid hormones, steroids, drugs, and procarcinogens, usually resulting in the inactivation and subsequent excretion of the compound. My laboratory's efforts have focused on the cloning of the human phenol-sulfating (PST) members of this gene superfamily, implicated in the bioactivation of the hair growth stimulant, minoxidil. At least two major forms of human PST enzymes have been characterized biochemically, the phenol-preferring PST (P-PST), and the catecholamine-preferring PST (M-PST). Various cDNAs have been cloned representing alleles of 3 gene loci termed as STP1, STP2, and STM, which were all mapped precisely to a small region on human chromosome 16p and to the homologous region of mouse chromosome 7. Human cosmid genomic clones have been sequenced to determine the genomic organization for each of the 3 highly-related genes. All contain 7 coding exons, with conserved intron-exon boundaries, and presumptive alternative tissue-specific promoters. At least one of the 3 PST-encoding genes is responsible for forming minoxidil sulfate in the lower outer root sheath of anagen hair follicles. The steroid sulfating genes, STD and STE, have been cloned by other laboratories. The isozyme products of these genes sulfate DHEA and estrogens, respectively. I hypothesize that either STE or STD is involved in the formation of cholesterol sulfate (CS) in epidermal keratinocytes. CS has been demonstrated by other groups to be an activator of keratinocyte Protein Kinase Ceta, which subsequently results in the activation of epidermal transglutaminase and formation of the cornified envelop. STE or STD might also be involved in bioinactivation of estrogens and androgens within skin. Our recent unpublished results have focused on elucidating the patterns of ST gene expression in cultured keratinocytes and fibroblasts derived from human skin using RT-PCR, to understand which of the 5 different ST genes in involved in the regulation of keratinocyte differentiation and minoxidil-induced hair growth.