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Biochemistry. 1995 Sep 12;34(36):11508-14.

Inactivation of steroid sulfatase by an active site-directed inhibitor, estrone-3-O-sulfamate.

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Unit of Metabolic Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK.


Steroid sulfatases are responsible for the hydrolysis of 3beta-hydroxy steroid sulfates, such as cholesterol and pregnenolone sulfate, and have an important role in regulating the synthesis of estrogenic steroids, from estrone sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, in endocrine-dependent tumors. Although little is known about the mechanism by which the sulfate group is removed from a steroid nucleus, an active site-directed sulfatase inhibitor has been developed. This inhibitor, estrone-3-O-sulfamate (EMATE), was synthesized by treating the sodium salt of estrone with sulfamoyl chloride. This compound inhibited not only estrone sulfatase but also dehydroepiandrosterone sulfatase activity in placental microsomes and in intact MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Pretreatment of MCF-7 cells or placental microsomes with EMATE, followed by extensive washing or dialysis indicated irreversible inhibition. This was confirmed by showing that EMATE inhibited estrone sulfatase activity in placental microsomes in a time-, concentration-, and pH-dependent manner. The enzyme is protected from inactivation by estrone sulfate, which is also consistent with active site-directed inhibition. EMATE is proposed to inactivate estrone sulfatase by irreversible sulfamoylation of the enzyme. Maximum enzyme activity was detected at pH 8.6, and the maximum rate of enzyme inactivation by EMATE also occurred at this pH. The pKa values of the enzymatic reaction and pKa of inactivation were 7.2 and 9.8, providing evidence that two active site residues are being modified by EMATE. As the phenolic pKa of tyrosine (9.7) and the pKa of histidine will allow the roles that (6.8) are similar to the pKa values of inactivation, these amino acid residues may play a role in the catalytic mechanism.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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