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Free Radic Res. 1995 Mar;22(3):193-207.

Potential contribution of the glutathione S-transferase supergene family to resistance to oxidative stress.

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  • 1Biomedical Research Centre, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, University of Dundee, Scotland.


The glutathione S-transferase (GST) supergene family comprises gene families that encode isoenzymes that are widely expressed in mammalian tissue cytosols and membranes. Both cytosolic (particularly the isoenzymes encoded by the alpha, mu and theta gene families) and microsomal GST catalyse the conjugation of reduced glutathione (GSH) with a wide variety of electrophiles which include known carcinogens as well as various compounds that are products of oxidative stress including oxidised DNA and lipid. Indeed, several lines of evidence suggest certain of these isoenzymes play a pivotal role in protecting cells from the consequences of such stress. An assessment of the importance of these GST in humans is presently difficult however, because the number of alpha and theta class genes is not known and, the catalytic preferences of even identified isoforms is not always clear.

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