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PLoS One. 2016 Feb 1;11(2):e0148230. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148230. eCollection 2016.

The Genetic Architecture of Murine Glutathione Transferases.

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Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, 38106, United States of America.
Co-innovation Center of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province, 226001, China.


Glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes play a protective role against oxidative stress and may influence disease risk and drug pharmacokinetics. In this study, massive multiscalar trait profiling across a large population of mice derived from a cross between C57BL/6J (B6) and DBA2/J (D2)--the BXD family--was combined with linkage and bioinformatic analyses to characterize mechanisms controlling GST expression and to identify downstream consequences of this variation. Similar to humans, mice show a wide range in expression of GST family members. Variation in the expression of Gsta4, Gstt2, Gstz1, Gsto1, and Mgst3 is modulated by local expression QTLs (eQTLs) in several tissues. Higher expression of Gsto1 in brain and liver of BXD strains is strongly associated (P < 0.01) with inheritance of the B6 parental allele whereas higher expression of Gsta4 and Mgst3 in brain and liver, and Gstt2 and Gstz1 in brain is strongly associated with inheritance of the D2 parental allele. Allele-specific assays confirmed that expression of Gsto1, Gsta4, and Mgst3 are modulated by sequence variants within or near each gene locus. We exploited this endogenous variation to identify coexpression networks and downstream targets in mouse and human. Through a combined systems genetics approach, we provide new insight into the biological role of naturally occurring variants in GST genes.

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