Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfotransferase Is a Target for Transcriptional Induction by the Vitamin D Receptor

Ibtissam Echchgadda, Chung S. Song, Arun K. Roy, Bandana Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase (SULT2A1) is a cytosolic enzyme that mediates sulfo-conjugation of endogenous hydroxysteroids (dehydroepiandrosterone, testosterone, bile acids), and diverse xenobiotic compounds. Upon sulfonation, SULT2A1 substrates become polar and water-soluble and thus suitable for rapid excretion. SULT2A1 is abundantly expressed in the liver and intestine. Recent evidence has shown that the ligand-activated vitamin D receptor (VDR) can transcriptionally induce the xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochrome P450 enzymes. Herein, we report that VDR also targets SULT2A1 for transcriptional activation. Vitamin D stimulated endogenous SULT2A1 expression and induced transfected human, mouse, and rat SULT2A1 promoters in liver and intestinal cells upon cotransfection with VDR. An inverted repeat DNA element (IRO), located within -191 to -168 positions of mouse and rat Sult2A1, mediates VDR induction of Sult2A1. DNase1 footprinting, competition EMSA, and antibody supershift assay showed that the IR0 is a binding site for the RXR-α/VDR heterodimer. Point mutations within the IR0 prevented RXR/VDR binding and abolished VDR-mediated Sult2A1 induction. The IR0 element conferred VDR responsiveness on a thymidine kinase promoter. Thus, VDR-mediated nuclear signaling may be important in the phase II metabolism involving Sult2A1. The rodent Sult2A1 gene is also induced by the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR) through the same IR0. In competition transfections, FXR or PXR inhibited VDR induction of the IR0. Competitive functional interactions among VDR, PXR, and FXR suggest that the intracellular hormonal and metabolic milieu may determine the extent to which a specific nuclear receptor pathway would influence steroid/xenobiotic metabolism using dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-729
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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