Deficiency of glutathione transferase zeta causes oxidative stress and activation of antioxidant response pathways
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Glutathione S-transferase (GST) zeta (GSTZ1-1) plays a significant role in the catabolism of phenylalanine and tyrosine, and a deficiency of GSTZ1-1 results in the accumulation of maleylacetoacetate and its derivatives maleylacetone (MA) and succinylacetone. Induction of GST subunits was detected in the liver of Gstz1(-/-) mice by Western blotting with specific antisera and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis of glutathione affinity column-purified proteins. The greatest induction was observed in members of the mu class. Induction of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 and the catalytic and modifier subunits of glutamate-cysteine ligase was also observed. Many of the enzymes that are induced in Gstz1(-/-) mice are regulated by antioxidant response elements that respond to oxidative stress via the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway. It is significant that diminished glutathione concentrations were also observed in the liver of Gstz1(-/-) mice, which supports the conclusion that under normal dietary conditions, the accumulation of electrophilic intermediates such as maleylacetoacetate and MA results in a high level of oxidative stress. Elevated GST activities in the livers of Gstz1(-/-) mice suggest that GSTZ1-1 deficiency may alter the metabolism of some drugs and xenobiotics. Gstz1(-/-) mice given acetaminophen demonstrated increased hepatotoxicity compared with wild-type mice. This toxicity may be attributed to the increased GST activity or the decreased hepatic concentrations of glutathione, or both. Patients with acquired deficiency of GSTZ1-1 caused by therapeutic exposure to dichloroacetic acid for the clinical treatment of lactic acidosis may be at increased risk of drug- and chemical-induced toxicity.