Human Steroid Sulfatase: Inhibitor Studies and Photoaffinity Labeling
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Steroid sulfatase (STS) is considered to be one of the key enzymes contributing to the development of breast cancer. It catalyzes the hydrolysis of inactive sulfated steroids such as estrone sulfate (ES) to inorganic sulfate active steroids such as estrone (E1), a precursor to estradiol (E2), a key stimulator for breast cancer development. Inhibitors of STS are currently being pursued in both academia and industry as potential drugs for treating breast cancer. A series of 4-substituted estrone and estradiol derivatives were examined as inhibitors of STS. Inhibition of STS with 4-FE1, an irreversible inhibitor of STS previously studied in the Taylor group, can be enhanced by introducing a hydrophobic benzyl group at the 17-positon of 4-FE1. As with 4-FE1, the inhibition was concentration and time-dependent. Only 14% of the activity could be recovered after extensive dialysis. Introducing substituents at the 2-position of 4-formyl estrogen derivatives resulted in loss of concentration and time-dependent inhibition and a considerable decrease in inhibitor affinity. Studies with estrogen derivatives substituted at the 4-position with groups other than a formyl revealed that a relatively good reversible inhibitor can be obtained simply by introducing an electron withdrawing group at this position. These types of inhibitors are non-competitive inhibitors suggesting an alternative steroid binding site. A series of estrone derivatives were examined as photoaffinity labels of STS. 4-azidoestrone suflate and 4-azidoestrone phosphate exhibited properties that are suitable for photoaffinity labeling studies with STS. These labels may be useful for ascertaining pathways of substrate entry into the STS active site. 16-diazoestrone phosphate was not a photoaffinity label of STS. 2- and 4-azido estrone and 16-diazoestrone all acted as photoaffinity labels of STS. These compounds may be useful for ascertaining pathways of product release from the STS active site.