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Biochem J. 1987 Mar 1;242(2):511-5.

Characterization and physiological function of glutathione reductase in Euglena gracilis z.


The purified glutathione reductase was homogeneous on polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. It had an Mr of 79,000 and consisted of two subunits with a Mr of 40,000. The activity was maximum at pH 8.2 and 52 degrees C. It was specific for NADPH but not for NADH as the electron donor; the reverse reaction was not observed. The Km values for NADPH and GSSG were 14 and 55 microM respectively. The enzyme activity was markedly inhibited by thiol inhibitors and metal ions such as Hg2+, Cu2+ and Zn2+. Euglena cells contained total glutathione at millimolar concentration. GSH constituted more than 80% of total glutathione in Euglena under various growth conditions. Glutathione reductase was located solely in cytosol, as were L-ascorbate peroxidase and dehydroascorbate reductase, which constitute the oxidation-reduction cycle of L-ascorbate [Shigeoka et al. (1980) Biochem. J. 186, 377-380]. These results indicate that glutathione reductase functions to maintain glutathione in the reduced form and to accelerate the oxidation-reduction of L-ascorbate, which scavenges peroxides generated in Euglena cells.

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