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Free Radic Res. 2001 Dec;35(6):655-63.

Cellular and subcellular localization of gastrointestinal glutathione peroxidase in normal and malignant human intestinal tissue.

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German Institute of Human Nutrition, Bergholz-Rehbrücke.


The gastrointestinal glutathione peroxidase (GI-GPx) is believed to prevent absorption of hydroperoxides. GI-GPx is expressed in the intestine together with the other three glutathione peroxidase isoenzymes, raising the question of the physiological role of the different GPx types. We therefore studied the cellular and subcellular distribution of GI-GPx in normal and malignant tissue obtained from patients with colorectal cancer or familial polyposis by immunohistochemistry. In healthy ileum epithelium GI-GPx was preferentially enriched in Paneth cells. In unaffected crypts of colon and rectum, it decreased gradually from the ground to the luminal surface. In crypt ground, GI-GPx was uniformly distributed, whereas in cells at the luminal surface it was concentrated in structures capping the nuclei at the apical pole. In colorectal cancer, GI-GPx expression depended on the stage of malignant transformation. In early stages, GI-GPx was increased and pronouncedly associated with the vesicular structures. In progressed stages of malignancy, structures disintegrated and GI-GPx distribution became more diffuse. These observations support the hypothesis that GI-GPx, apart from being a barrier against hydroperoxide absorption, might be involved in cell growth and differentiation.

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