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Free Radic Biol Med. 2003 Jun 1;34(11):1405-15.

A stress-responsive glutathione S-transferase confers resistance to oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Institute for Genetics and Biological-Medical Research Center, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.


Previous studies demonstrated that the Caenorhabditis elegans GST-p24 is upregulated at the steady state mRNA level in response to oxidative stress. A transcriptional upregulation was confirmed in the current study by analyzing Ce-GST-p24 promoter-reporter constructs in transgenic C. elegans strains CL2166 and CL3166. The transgenic strain BL1, which overexpresses the Ce-GST-p24 enzyme (as a GFP fusion protein controlled by its own promoter), was generated to investigate the function of this enzyme in vivo. Stress experiments with BL1 demonstrated an increased resistance to intracellularly induced oxidative stress, as compared to wild type. The consequences of a decrease in the Ce-GST-p24 enzyme concentration were examined by RNAi-treatment of BL1 C. elegans to silence both the endogene and the transgene Ce-GST-p24 and by the analysis of the K08F4.7 homozygous deletion mutant. In both cases, the reduced Ce-GST-p24 enzyme level resulted in a significant decrease in the stress resistance of the nematodes. These results clearly demonstrate a direct correlation between the concentration of Ce-GST-p24 and the resistance to oxidative stress. We have demonstrated for the first time that manipulation of the expression of a single GST can modulate the organismal response to oxidative stress. The enzymatic activity of this detoxification enzyme was examined with various substrates, giving emphasis to lipid peroxidation products. The Ce-GST-p24 was also localized in BL1 C. elegans by confocal laser-scanning microscopy, revealing a wide-spread distribution profile.

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