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Cancer Res. 2011 Nov 15;71(22):7048-60. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-0882. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Increased skin papilloma formation in mice lacking glutathione transferase GSTP.

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  • 1Cancer Research UK Molecular Pharmacology Unit, Medical Research Institute, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, United Kingdom.


The glutathione S-transferase GSTP is overexpressed in many human cancers and chemotherapy-resistant cancer cells, where there is evidence that GSTP may have additional functions beyond its known catalytic role. On the basis of evidence that Gstp-deficient mice have a comparatively higher susceptibility to skin carcinogenesis, we investigated whether this phenotype reflected an alteration in carcinogen detoxification or not. For this study, Gstp(-/-) mice were interbred with Tg.AC mice that harbor initiating H-ras mutations in the skin. Gstp(-/-)/Tg.AC mice exposed to the proinflammatory phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) exhibited higher tumor incidence and multiplicity with a significant thickening of skin after treatment, illustrating hyperproliferative growth. Unexpectedly, we observed no difference in cellular proliferation or apoptosis or in markers of oxidative stress, although higher levels of the inflammatory marker nitrotyrosine were found in Gstp(-/-)/Tg.AC mice. Instead, gene set enrichment analysis of microarray expression data obtained from skin revealed a more proapoptotic and proinflammatory environment shortly after TPA treatment. Within 4 weeks of TPA treatment, Gstp(-/-)/Tg.AC mice displayed altered lipid/sterol metabolism and Wnt signaling along with aberrant processes of cytoskeletal control and epidermal morphogenesis at both early and late times. In extending the evidence that GSTP has a vital role in normal homeostatic control and cancer prevention, they also strongly encourage the emerging concept that GSTP is a major determinant of the proinflammatory character of the tumor microenvironment. This study shows that the GSTP plays a major role in carcinogenesis distinct from its role in detoxification and provides evidence that the enzyme is a key determinant of the proinflammatory tumor environment.

©2011 AACR

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