Increased bioactivation of dihaloalkanes in rat liver due to induction of class theta glutathione S-transferase T1-1

Philip J. Sherratt, Margaret M. Manson, Anne Thomson, Erna A. M. Hissink, Gordon E. Neal, Peter J. van Bladeren, Trevor Green, John D. Hayes

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    69 Citations (Scopus)


    A characteristic feature of the class Theta glutathione S-transferase (GST) T1-1 is its ability to activate dichloromethane and dibromoethane by catalysing the formation of mutagenic conjugates. The level of the GSTT1 subunit within tissues is an important determinant of susceptibility to the carcinogenic effects of these dihaloalkanes. In the present study it is demonstrated that hepatic GST activity towards these compounds can be elevated significantly in female and male Fischer-344 rats by feeding these animals on diets supplemented with cancer chemopreventive agents. Immunoblotting experiments showed that increased activity towards the dihaloalkanes is associated with elevated levels of the GSTT1 subunit in rat liver. Sex-specific effects were observed in the induction of GSTT1 protein. Amongst the chemopreventive agents tested, indole-3-carbinol proved to be the most potent inducer of hepatic GSTT1 in male rats (6.2-fold), whereas coumarin was the most potent inducer of this subunit in the livers of female rats (3. 5-fold). Phenobarbital showed significant induction of GSTT1 only in male rat liver and had little effect in female rat liver. Western blotting showed that class Alpha, Mu and Pi GST subunits are not co-ordinately induced with GSTT1, indicating that the expression of GSTT1 is determined, at least in part, by mechanisms distinct from those that regulate levels of other transferases. The increase in amount of hepatic GSTT1 protein was also reflected by an increase in the steady-state level of mRNA in response to treatment with chemopreventive agents and model inducers. Immunohistochemical detection of GSTT1 in rat liver supported the Western blotting data, but showed, in addition to cytoplasmic staining, significant nuclear localization of the enzyme in hepatocytes from some treated animals, including those fed on an oltipraz-containing diet. Significantly, the hepatic level of cytochrome P-450 2E1, an enzyme which offers a detoxification pathway for dihaloalkanes, was unchanged by the various inducing agents studied. It is concluded that the induction of GSTT1 by dietary components and its localization within cells are important factors that should be considered when assessing the risk dihaloalkanes pose to human health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)619-30
    Number of pages12
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1998


    • Animals
    • Anticarcinogenic Agents/administration & dosage
    • Biotransformation
    • Carcinogens/pharmacokinetics
    • Dietary Supplements
    • Enzyme Induction
    • Female
    • Glutathione Transferase/biosynthesis
    • Humans
    • Hydrocarbons, Brominated/pharmacokinetics
    • Isoenzymes/biosynthesis
    • Liver/drug effects
    • Male
    • Methylene Chloride/pharmacokinetics
    • Phenobarbital/pharmacology
    • Rats
    • Rats, Inbred F344
    • Sex Characteristics
    • Xenobiotics/pharmacokinetics


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