Estrogens are closely involved in the development of hormone-dependent carcinomas. Estrone is locally produced from circulating inactive estrone sulfate by steroid sulfatase (STS), while estrone is inversely inactivated into estrone sulfate by estrogen sulfotransferase (EST). Recent studies suggested importance of this STS pathway in various human carcinomas. Therefore, in this review, we summarized recent results of STS and EST in several estrogen-dependent carcinomas. STS and EST expressions were detected in the breast and endometrial carcinomas, and activation of STS pathway due to increment in STS and/or decrement in EST expressions plays important role in their estrogen-dependent growth. STS expression was also reported in the ovarian and prostate carcinomas. STS/EST status was associated with intratumoral estrogen level in the colon carcinoma, and STS-negative/EST-positive colon carcinoma patients had longer survival. Therefore, STS pathway and estrogen actions may play an important role in the development of these carcinomas, and further investigations are required.
- Estrogen sulfotransferase
- Steroid sulfatase