HomeEnzyme Activity AssaysEnzymatic Assay of Sulfatase (EC

Enzymatic Assay of Sulfatase (EC


This procedure may be used for determination of sulfatase activity in products, except for Sulfatase products from Aerobacter aerogenes (Product No. S1629).

This spectrophotometric stop rate determination (A515, Light path = 1 cm) is based on the following reaction:

Unit Definition: One unit will hydrolyze 1.0 µmol of p-nitrocatechol sulfate per hour at pH 5.0 at 37 °C.

Reagents and Equipment Required

Sodium acetate trihydrate, Product No. S8625

p-Nitrocatechol sulfate, dipotassium salt, Product No. N7251

1 N Sodium hydroxide solution, Product No. 319511

5.0 M Sodium chloride solution, Product No. S6546


Please consult the Safety Data Sheet for information regarding hazards and safe handling practices.

Preparation Instructions

Use ultrapure water (≥18 MΩ×cm resistivity at 25 °C) for the preparation of reagents.

Buffer solution (200 mM Sodium Acetate Buffer, pH 5.0 at 37 °C) – Prepare a five‑fold dilution with ultrapure water of 1.0 M sodium acetate trihydrate stock solution (prepared using Product No. S8625 in ultrapure water). Adjust to pH 5.0 at 37 °C with 1 N Acetic acid or 1 N NaOH solution.

Substrate solution (6.25 mM p-Nitrocatechol Sulfate) – Prepare a 2.05 mg/mL solution using p-nitrocatechol sulfate, dipotassium salt, Product No. N7251, in ultrapure water.

NaOH solution (1 N Sodium Hydroxide) – Use 1 N sodium hydroxide solution, Product No. 319511.

NaCl solution (34.2 mM Sodium Chloride) – Prepare a 146-fold dilution of 5.0 M sodium chloride solution, Product No. S6546, with ultrapure water.

Test solution (Sulfatase) – Immediately before use, prepare a solution containing 2.5‑5.0 units/mL of sulfatase in cold NaCl solution.


Final Assay Conditions – In a 1.00 mL reaction mix, the final concentrations are 100 mM sodium acetate, 2.5 mM p-nitrocatechol, 1.71‑3.42 mM sodium chloride, and 0.25‑0.50 units of sulfatase.

1. Pipette (in mL) the following reagents into suitable containers:

2. Mix by swirling and equilibrate to 37 °C in a suitably thermostatted water bath.

3. Then add (in mL):

4. Mix by swirling and incubate at 37 °C for exactly 30 minutes.

5. Then add (in mL):

6. Immediately mix by swirling. Transfer all the Test and Blanks to suitable cuvettes and record the A515 using a suitable spectrophotometer.





2 = Time factor correction (Unit Definition Time = 1 hour)

df = Dilution factor

6.0 = Total volume (in mL) of the assay

12.6 = Millimolar extinction coefficient of p-nitrocatechol at 515 nm

0.10 = Volume (in mL) of Test used