The human cytosolic sulfotransferases (SULTs) comprise a 13-member enzyme family that regulates the activities of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of signaling small molecules via regiospecific transfer of the sulfuryl moiety (-SO3) from PAPS (3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate) to the hydroxyls and amines of acceptors. Signaling molecules regulated by sulfonation include numerous steroid and thyroid hormones, epinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. SULT1A1, a major phase II metabolism SULT isoform, is found at a high concentration in liver and has recently been show to harbor two allosteric binding sites, each of which binds a separate and complex class of compounds: the catechins (naturally occurring polyphenols) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Among catechins, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) displays high affinity and specificity for SULT1A1. The allosteric network associated with either site has yet to be defined. Here, using equilibrium binding and pre-steady state studies, the network is shown to involve 14 distinct complexes. ECGG binds both the allosteric site and, relatively weakly, the active site of SULT1A1. It is not a SULT1A1 substrate but is sulfonated by SULT2A1. EGCG binds 17-fold more tightly when the active-site cap of the enzyme is closed by the binding of the nucleotide. When nucleotide is saturating, EGCG binds in two phases. In the first, it binds to the cap-open conformer; in the second, it traps the cap in the closed configuration. Cap closure encapsulates the nucleotide, preventing its release; hence, the EGCG-induced cap stabilization slows nucleotide release, inhibiting turnover. Finally, a comprehensive quantitative model of the network is presented.
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