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Acta Biochim Pol. 1999;46(3):567-80.

Coordination chemistry of glutathione.

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Faculty of Chemistry, University of Wroclaw, Poland.


The metal ion coordination abilities of reduced and oxidized glutathione are reviewed. Reduced glutathione (GSH) is a very versatile ligand, forming stable complexes with both hard and soft metal ions. Several general binding modes of GSH are described. Soft metal ions coordinate exclusively or primarily through thiol sulfur. Hard ones prefer the amino acid-like moiety of the glutamic acid residue. Several transition metal ions can additionally coordinate to the peptide nitrogen of the gamma-Glu-Cys bond. Oxidized glutathione lacks the thiol function. Nevertheless, it proves to be a surprisingly efficient ligand for a range of metal ions, coordinating them primarily through the donors of the glutamic acid residue.

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