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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1990 Sep 15;105(3):351-63.

Protective activity of different hepatic cytosolic glutathione S-transferases against DNA-binding metabolites of aflatoxin B1.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


To evaluate the role of glutathione S-transferase (GST) isoenzymes in induced resistance of hepatocytes to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), we compared DNA protective activities of different hepatic cytosol preparations and purified GSTs from normal rats, rats exposed to different polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and rats with carcinogen-induced hepatocellular neoplasms, with cytosols or purified GSTs from mouse, rainbow trout, and human livers. These comparisons were performed in an in vitro assay for [3H]AFB1-DNA binding after activation by rat liver microsomes. Cytosol and S-hexylglutathione-affinity-purified GST preparations from livers of mice consistently had strong protective activity against AFB1-DNA binding. The majority of this activity was dependent on the presence of reduced glutathione (GSH) but some GSH-independent protection was observed in mouse hepatic cytosol, but not in purified GST preparations. We found that all of the GSH-dependent DNA-protective activity in mouse liver eluted as a single GST isoenzyme by hydroxyapatite chromatography. Preparations of cytosol and purified GSTs from normal rat liver, rainbow trout liver, and human liver had much less AFB1-specific DNA protective activity than GSTs found in mouse liver preparations. Cytosol from rats with carcinogen-generated liver neoplasms and livers induced with 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl and 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl had more GST activity toward CDNB than cytosol from normal rat liver. When equivalent units of GST activity (CDNB) were compared, there was little difference observed between the DNA-protective activities of PCB-induced and normal rat liver cytosols, yet cytosol from rat liver neoplasms was more protective. Purified GST-P (7-7), the GST isoenzyme most induced in carcinogen-generated rat liver neoplasms, was not protective when added at protein concentrations found to be protective for total GSTs isolated from these neoplasms. These studies demonstrate that the resistance of mouse liver to AFB1 can be explained primarily by a single constitutive GST isoenzyme (YaYa or 4-4) with a relatively high activity toward DNA-binding metabolites of AFB1. GST isoenzymes with such high specific DNA protective activity against AFB1 metabolites were not evident in human, rat, or rainbow trout liver or in PCB-induced or neoplastic rat liver preparations.

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