Glutathionylspermidine metabolism in Escherichia coli

K. Smith, A. Borges, M. R. Ariyanayagam, A. H. Fairlamb

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    43 Citations (Scopus)


    Intracellular levels of glutathione and glutathionylspermidine conjugates have been measured throughout the growth phases of Escherichia coli. Glutathionylspermidine was present in mid-log-phase cells, and under stationary and anaerobic growth conditions accounted for 80% of the total glutathione content. N1,N8-bis(glutathionyl)spermidine (trypanothione) was undetectable under all growth conditions. The catalytic constant k(cat.)/K(m)) of recombinant E. coli glutathione reductase for glutathionylspermidine disulphide was approx. 11000-fold lower than that for glutathione disulphide. The much higher catalytic constant for the mixed disulphide of glutathione and glutathionylspermidine (11% that of GSSG), suggests a possible explanation for the low turnover of trypanothione disulphide by E. coli glutathione reductase, given the apparent lack of a specific glutathionylspermidine disulphide reductase in E. coli.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)465-469
    Number of pages5
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1995

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology


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