Pharmacogenetics of human 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate synthetase 1 (PAPSS1): Gene resequencing, sequence variation, and functional genomics

Zhen Hua Xu, Bianca A. Thomae, Bruce W. Eckloff, Eric D. Wieben, Richard M. Weinshilboum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


3′-Phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate (PAPS) is the high-energy "sulfate donor" for reactions catalyzed by sulfotransferase (SULT) enzymes. The strict requirement of SULTs for PAPS suggests that PAPS synthesis might influence the rate of sulfate conjugation. In humans, PAPS is synthesized from ATP and SO42- by two isoforms of PAPS synthetase (PAPSS): PAPSS1 and PAPSS2. As a step toward pharmacogenetic studies, we have resequenced the entire coding sequence of the human PAPSS1 gene, including exon-intron splice junctions, using DNA samples from 60 Caucasian-American and 58 African-American subjects. Twenty-one genetic polymorphisms were observed - 1 insertion-deletion event and 20 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - including two non-synonymous coding SNPs (cSNPs) that altered the following amino acids: Arg333Cys and Glu531Gln. Twelve pairs of these polymorphisms were tightly linked, and a total of twelve unequivocal haplotypes could be identified - two that were common to both ethnic groups and ten that were ethnic-specific. The Arg333Cys polymorphism, with an allele frequency of 2.5%, was observed only in DNA samples from Caucasian subjects. The Glu531Gln polymorphism was rare, with only a single copy of that allele in a DNA sample from an African-American subject. Transient expression in mammalian cells showed that neither of the non-synonymous cSNPs resulted in a change in the basal level of enzyme activity measured under optimal assay conditions. However, the Glu531Gln polymorphism altered the substrate kinetic properties of the enzyme. The Gln531 variant allozyme had a 5-fold higher Km value for SO42- than did the wild-type allozyme and displayed monophasic kinetics for Na2SO4. The wild-type allozyme (Glu531) showed biphasic kinetics for that substrate. These observations represent a step toward testing the hypothesis that genetic variation in PAPS synthesis catalyzed by PAPSS1 might alter in vivo sulfate conjugation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1787-1796
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • 3′-Phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate (PAPS)
  • Genetic polymorphisms
  • Haplotype
  • PAPS synthetase (PAPSS)
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Sulfate conjugation
  • Sulfation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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