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Methods Enzymol. 2005;401:484-501.

Prooxidant reactions promoted by soluble and cell-bound gamma-glutamyltransferase activity.

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  • 1Department of experimental Pathology, University of Pisa Medical School, Pisa, Italy.


Recent studies have provided evidence for the prooxidant roles played by molecular species originating during the catabolism of glutathione (GSH) effected by gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), an enzyme normally present in serum and on the outer surface of numerous cell types. The reduction of metal ions by GSH catabolites is capable of inducing the redox cycling processes, leading to the production of reactive oxygen species and other free radicals. Through the action of these reactive compounds, cell membrane GGT activity can ultimately produce oxidative modifications on a variety of molecular targets, involving oxidation and/or S-thiolation of protein thiol groups in the first place. This chapter is a survey of the procedures most suitable to reveal GGT-dependent prooxidant reactions and their effects at the cellular and extracellular level, including methods in histochemistry, cytochemistry, and biochemistry, with special reference to methods for the evaluation of protein thiol redox status.

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