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J Biol Chem. 1997 Feb 28;272(9):5727-31.

Human class Mu glutathione transferases, in particular isoenzyme M2-2, catalyze detoxication of the dopamine metabolite aminochrome.

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Division of Biochemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Bioscience, Uppsala University, S-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden.


Human glutathione transferases (GSTs) were shown to catalyze the reductive glutathione conjugation of aminochrome (2, 3-dihydroindole-5,6-dione). The class Mu enzyme GST M2-2 displayed the highest specific activity (148 micromol/min/mg), whereas GSTs A1-1, A2-2, M1-1, M3-3, and P1-1 had markedly lower activities (<1 micromol/min/mg). The product of the conjugation, with a UV spectrum exhibiting absorption peaks at 277 and 295 nm, was 4-S-glutathionyl-5,6-dihydroxyindoline as determined by NMR spectroscopy. In contrast to reduced forms of aminochrome (leucoaminochrome and o-semiquinone), 4-S-glutathionyl-5, 6-dihydroxyindoline was stable in the presence of molecular oxygen, superoxide radicals, and hydrogen peroxide. However, the strongly oxidizing complex of Mn3+ and pyrophosphate oxidizes 4-S-glutathionyl-5,6-dihydroxyindoline to 4-S-glutathionylaminochrome, a new quinone derivative with an absorption peak at 620 nm. GST M2-2 (and to a lower degree, GST M1-1) prevents the formation of reactive oxygen species linked to one-electron reduction of aminochrome catalyzed by NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase. The results suggest that the reductive conjugation of aminochrome catalyzed by GSTs, in particular GST M2-2, is an important cellular antioxidant activity preventing the formation of o-semiquinone and thereby the generation of reactive oxygen species.

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