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Human hepatic microsomal sulfatase catalyzes the hydrolysis of polychlorinated biphenyl sulfates: A potential mechanism for retention of hydroxylated PCBs
Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology  (IF4.86),  Pub Date : 2021-10-22, DOI: 10.1016/j.etap.2021.103757
Michael W. Duffel, Kristopher Tuttle, Hans-Joachim Lehmler, Larry W. Robertson

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent environmental contaminants that continue to be of concern due to their varied toxicities. Upon human exposure, many PCBs with lower numbers of chlorine atoms are metabolized to hydroxylated derivatives (OH-PCBs), and cytosolic sulfotransferases can subsequently catalyze the formation of PCB sulfates. Recent studies have indicated that PCB sulfates bind reversibly with a high affinity to human serum proteins, and that they are also taken up by cells and tissues. Since PCB sulfates might be hydrolyzed to the more toxic OH-PCBs, we have investigated the ability of human hepatic microsomal sulfatase to catalyze this reaction. Twelve congeners of PCB sulfates were substrates for the microsomal sulfatase with catalytic rates exceeding that of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate as a comparison substrate for steroid sulfatase (STS). These results are consistent with an intracellular mechanism for sulfation and de-sulfation that may contribute to retention and increased time of exposure to OH-PCBs.