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Toxicol Sci. 2011 Nov;124(1):45-53. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfr212. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Functional characterization of alpha-class glutathione s-transferases from the Turkey (meleagris gallopavo).

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Graduate Toxicology Program, Department of Veterinary Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, 84322-4620.


Six Alpha-class glutathione S-transferase (GST) subunits were cloned from domestic turkey livers, which are one of the most susceptible animals known to the carcinogenic mycotoxin aflatoxin B₁. In most animals, GST dysfunction is a risk factor for susceptibility toward AFB₁, and we have shown that turkeys lack GSTs with affinity toward the carcinogenic intermediate exo-aflatoxin B(1)-8-9-epoxide (AFBO). Conversely, mice are resistant to AFB₁ carcinogenesis, due to high constitutive expression of mGSTA3 that has high affinity toward AFBO. When expressed in Escherichia coli, all six tGSTA subunits possessed conjugating activities toward substrates 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene (DCNB), ethacrynic acid (ECA), and cumene hydroperoxide (CHP) with tGSTA1.2 appearing most active. Interestingly, tGSTA1.1, which lacks one of the four Alpha-class signature motifs, possessed enzymatic activities toward all substrates. All had comparable activities toward AFBO conjugation, an activity absent in turkey liver cytosols. E. coli-expressed mGSTA3 conjugated AFBO with more than 3-fold greater activity than that of tGSTAs and had higher activity toward GST prototype substrates. Mouse hepatic cytosols had approximately 900-fold higher catalytic activity toward AFBO compared with those from turkey. There was no apparent amino acid profile in tGSTAs that might correspond to specificity toward AFBO, although tGSTA1.2, which had slightly higher AFBO-trapping ability, shared Tyr¹⁰⁸ with mGSTA3, a residue postulated to be critical for AFBO trapping activity in mammalian systems. The observation that recombinant tGSTAs detoxify AFBO, whereas their hepatic forms do not, implies that the hepatic forms of these enzymes are silenced by one or more regulatory mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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