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J Biol Chem. 2009 Jan 2;284(1):436-45. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M805586200. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Novel role for glutathione S-transferase pi. Regulator of protein S-Glutathionylation following oxidative and nitrosative stress.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.


Glutathione S-transferase Pi (GSTpi) is a marker protein in many cancers and high levels are linked to drug resistance, even when the selecting drug is not a substrate. S-Glutathionylation of proteins is critical to cellular stress response, but characteristics of the forward reaction are not known. Our results show that GSTpi potentiates S-glutathionylation reactions following oxidative and nitrosative stress in vitro and in vivo. Mutational analysis indicated that the catalytic activity of GST is required. GSTpi is itself redox-regulated. S-Glutathionylation on Cys47 and Cys101 autoregulates GSTpi, breaks ligand binding interactions with c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), and causes GSTpi multimer formation, all critical to stress response. Catalysis of S-glutathionylation at low pK cysteines in proteins is a novel property for GSTpi and may be a cause for its abundance in tumors and cells resistant to a range of mechanistically unrelated anticancer drugs.

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