Steroid sulfatase and estrogen sulfotransferase in normal human tissue and breast carcinoma

Takashi Suzuki, Yasuhiro Miki, Taisuke Nakata, Yukimasa Shiotsu, Shiro Akinaga, Kengo Inoue, Takanori Ishida, Michio Kimura, Takuya Moriya, Hironobu Sasano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Steroid sulfatase (STS) hydrolyzes inactive estrone sulfate (E1-S) to estrone (E1), while estrogen sulfotransferase (EST; SULT 1E1 or STE gene) sulfonates estrogens to estrogen sulfates. They are considered to play important roles in the regulation of local estrogenic actions in various human tissues, however, their biological significance remains largely unknown. Therefore, we examined the expression of STS and EST in non-pathologic human tissues and breast carcinomas. STS expression was very weak except for the placenta, while EST expression was markedly detected in various tissues examined. In breast carcinoma tissues, STS and EST immunoreactivity was detected in carcinoma cells in 74 and 44% of cases, respectively, and was significantly associated with their mRNA levels and enzymatic activities. STS immunoreactivity was significantly correlated with the tumor size, and an increased risk of recurrence. EST immunoreactivity was inversely correlated with the tumor size or lymph node status. Moreover, EST immunoreactivity was significantly associated with a decreased risk of recurrence or improved prognosis. Our results suggest that EST is involved in protecting various peripheral tissues from excessive estrogenic effects. In the breast carcinoma, STS and EST are suggested to play important roles in the regulation of in situ estrogen production in the breast carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-454
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number3-5
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Sept


  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen sulfotransferase (EST)
  • Steroid sulfatase (STS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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