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Hum Genomics. 2004 Nov;1(6):460-4.

Analysis of the glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene family.

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Department of Environmental Health and Center for Environmental Genetics, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056, USA.


The glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene family encodes genes that are critical for certain life processes, as well as for detoxication and toxification mechanisms, via conjugation of reduced glutathione (GSH) with numerous substrates such as pharmaceuticals and environmental pollutants. The GST genes are upregulated in response to oxidative stress and are inexplicably overexpressed in many tumours, leading to problems during cancer chemotherapy. An analysis of the GST gene family in the Human Genome Organization-sponsored Human Gene Nomenclature Committee database showed 21 putatively functional genes. Upon closer examination, however, GST-kappa 1 (GSTK1), prostaglandin E synthase (PTGES) and three microsomal GSTs (MGST1, MGST2, MGST3) were determined as encoding membrane-bound enzymes having GST-like activity, but these genes are not evolutionarily related to the GST gene family. It is concluded that the complete GST gene family comprises 16 genes in six subfamilies--alpha (GSTA), mu (GSTM), omega (GSTO), pi (GSTP), theta (GSTT) and zeta (GSTZ).

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