Associations between polymorphisms in glucuronidation and sulfation enzymes and sex steroid concentrations in premenopausal women in the United States.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, Volume 124, Issue 1-2, p.10-8 (2011)


2011, Adult, Center-Authored Paper, Dehydroepiandrosterone, DNA, estradiol, Estrone, Female, Genetic Variation, Glucuronosyltransferase, Haplotypes, Humans, Linear Models, Middle Aged, Nutrition Assessment Core Facility, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Polymorphism, Genetic, Premenopause, Public Health Sciences Division, Shared Resources, Sulfotransferases


Glucuronidation, catalyzed by UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGT) and sulfation, catalyzed by sulfotransferases (SULT), are pathways through which sex steroids are metabolized to less active compounds. These enzymes are highly polymorphic and genetic variants frequently result in higher or lower activity. The phenotypic effects of these polymorphisms on circulating sex steroids in premenopausal women have not yet been investigated. One hundred and seventy women aged 40-45 years had a blood sample drawn during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle for sex steroid measures and to obtain genomic DNA. Urine was collected for 2-hydroxy (OH) estrone (E(1)) and 16α-OH E(1) measures. Generalized linear regression models were used to assess associations between sex steroids and polymorphisms in the UGT1A and UGT2B families, SULT1A1, and SULT1E1. Women with the UGT1A1(TA7/TA7) genotype had 25% lower mean estradiol (E(2)) concentrations compared to the wildtype (TA6/TA6) (p=0.02). Similar associations were observed between SULT1A1(R213/H213) and E(1) (13% lower mean E(1) concentration vs. wildtype; p-value=0.02) and UGT2B4(E458/E458) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) (20% lower mean DHEA vs. wildtype; p-value=0.03). The SULT1E1(A/C) and the UGT1A1(TA7)-UGT1A3(R11) haplotypes were associated with reduced estrogen concentrations. Further study of UGT and SULT polymorphisms and circulating sex steroid measures in larger populations of premenopausal women is warranted.