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Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Nov 1;29(9):825-33.

Evidence for the pro-oxidant effect of gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase-related enzyme.

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Centre du Médicament, UPRES EA 3117, Faculty of Pharmacy, University Henri Poincaré, Nancy Cedex, France.


It has been previously reported that the metabolism of reduced glutathione (GSH) by gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) in the presence of chelated metals leads to free radical generation and lipid peroxidation (LPO). The present study demonstrates for the first time that an established cell line expressing GGT-rel, a human GGT-related enzyme, metabolizes extracellular GSH to cysteinylglycine (CysGly) in a time-dependent manner when cells were incubated in a medium containing 2.5 mM GSH and 25 mM glycylglycine. Supplementation with 150-165 microM Fe(3+)-EDTA resulted in a reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation process. The resulting data showed a significantly higher level (7.6-fold) of ROS production in the GGT-rel positive cells in comparison with the GGT-rel negative control cells. CysGly and Cys, but not GSH, were responsible for the observed ROS production, as we confirmed by measuring the same process in the presence of Fe(3+)-EDTA and different thiols. A higher iron reduction and an increased LPO level determined by malondialdehyde HPLC measurement were also found in GGT-rel-overexpressing cells compared to GGT-rel negative cells. Our data clearly indicate that in the presence of iron, not only GGT, but also GGT-rel has a pro-oxidant function by generation of a reactive metabolite (CysGly) and must be taken into account as a potential physiopathological oxidation system.

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