Estrogen sulfotransferase and sulfatase: Roles in the regulation of estrogen activity in human uterine endometrial carcinomas

Kyoko Tanaka, Kaneyuki Kubushiro, Yuriko Iwamori, Yuzuru Okairi, Kazushige Kiguchi, Isamu Ishiwata, Katsumi Tsukuzaki, Shiro Nozawa, Masao Iwamori

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The regulation of estrogen activity through the formation and cleavage of sulfoconjugates of estrogens is known to be related to the progression and metastasis of estrogen-dependent breast carcinomas, but the involvement of sulfoconjugates in the steroid stimulation of endometrial functions and the progression of endometrial adenocarcinomas is not clearly understood yet. Estrogen sulfotransferase (EST) in the uterine endometria during the follicular phase was more active than during the luteal phase, but estrogen sulfate (ES) sulfatase exhibited lower activity during the follicular phase than during the luteal phase. However, ES sulfatase activities in cancerous tissues were lower than those in normal endometria and endometrial adenocarcinoma-derived cells, among which the activity was exceedingly high in Ishikawa cells, suggesting that ES sulfatase in Ishikawa cells contributes to the estrogen-dependent growth of these cells. EST activities higher than that in Ishikawa cells were found in only 3 of 24 cancerous tissues. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of the EST and ES sulfatase genes in carcinoma-derived cells demonstrated the extensive expression of both genes in Ishikawa cells. The isolated EST gene was transfected into Ishikawa cells with a mammalian expression vector to establish cell clones with enhanced EST activity, and the estrogen-dependent cell growth of the resultant cell clones was found to be abolished, due to the enhanced sulfoconjugation of estrogen. Since ES sulfatase activity in cancerous tissues was significantly lower than that in Ishikawa cells, it might be not involved in the enhancement of estrogen activity associated with the pathogenesis of endometrial adenocarcinoma tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-876
Number of pages6
JournalCancer science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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