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J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2011 Sep;49(2):70-8. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.10-138SR. Epub 2011 Jun 3.

Unveiling the roles of the glutathione redox system in vivo by analyzing genetically modified mice.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Yamagata University, 2-2-2 Iidanishi, Yamagata 990-9585, Japan.


Redox status affects various cellular activities, such as proliferation, differentiation, and death. Recent studies suggest pivotal roles of reactive oxygen species not only in pathogenesis under oxidative insult but also in intracellular signal transduction. Glutathione is present in several millimolar concentrations in the cytoplasm and has multiple roles in the regulation of cellular homeostasis. Two enzymes, γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase and glutathione synthetase, constitute the de novo synthesis machinery, while glutathione reductase is involved in the recycling of oxidized glutathione. Multidrug resistant proteins and some other transporters are responsible for exporting oxidized glutathione, glutathione conjugates, and S-nitrosoglutathione. In addition to antioxidation, glutathione is more positively involved in cellular activity via its sulfhydryl moiety of a molecule. Animals in which genes responsible for glutathione metabolism are genetically modified can be used as beneficial and reliable models to elucidate roles of glutathione in vivo. This review article overviews recent progress in works related to genetically modified rodents and advances in the elucidation of glutathione-mediated reactions.


glutathione; knockout mouse; redox system; transgenic mouse

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