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Molecules. 2010 Mar 3;15(3):1242-64. doi: 10.3390/molecules15031242.

Prodrug approach for increasing cellular glutathione levels.

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1
Department of Drug Sciences, School of Pharmacy, G. d'Annunzio University, Via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy.

Abstract

Reduced glutathione (GSH) is the most abundant non-protein thiol in mammalian cells and the preferred substrate for several enzymes in xenobiotic metabolism and antioxidant defense. It plays an important role in many cellular processes, such as cell differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. GSH deficiency has been observed in aging and in a wide range of pathologies, including neurodegenerative disorders and cystic fibrosis (CF), as well as in several viral infections. Use of GSH as a therapeutic agent is limited because of its unfavorable biochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. Several reports have provided evidence for the use of GSH prodrugs able to replenish intracellular GSH levels. This review discusses different strategies for increasing GSH levels by supplying reversible bioconjugates able to cross the cellular membrane more easily than GSH and to provide a source of thiols for GSH synthesis.

PMID:
20335977
DOI:
10.3390/molecules15031242
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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