Molecular cloning and heterologous expression of a cDNA encoding a mouse glutathione S-transferase Yc subunit possessing high catalytic activity for aflatoxin B1-8,9-epoxide

John D. Hayes, David J. Judah, Gordon E. Neal, Truyen Nguyen

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    Resistance to the carcinogenic effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in the mouse is due to the constitutive expression of an Alpha-class glutathione S-transferase (GST), YcYc, with high detoxification activity towards AFB1-8,9-epoxide. A cDNA clone (pmusGST Yc) for a murine GST Yc polypeptide has been isolated. Sequencing has shown the cDNA insert of pmusGST Yc to be 922 bp in length, with an open reading frame of 663 bp that encodes a polypeptide of M(r) 25358. The primary structure of the murine GST Yc subunit predicted by pmusGST Yc is in complete agreement with the partial amino acid sequence of the aflatoxin-metabolizing mouse liver GST described previously [McLellan, Kerr, Cronshaw & Hayes (1991) Biochem. J. 276, 461-469]. A plasmid, termed pKK-musGST Yc, which permits the expression of the murine Yc subunit in Escherichia coli, has been constructed. The murine GST expressed in E. coli was purified and found to be catalytically active towards several GST substrates, including AFB1-8,9-epoxide. This enzyme was also found to possess electrophoretic and immunochemical properties closely similar to those of the GST Yc subunit from mouse liver. However, the GST synthesized in E. coli and the constitutive mouse liver Alpha-class GST exhibited small differences in their chromatographic behaviour during reverse-phase h.p.l.c. Automated Edman degradation revealed alanine to be the N-terminal amino acid in the GST Yc subunit expressed in E. coli, whereas the enzyme in mouse liver possesses a blocked N-terminus. Although sequencing showed that the purified Yc subunit from E. coli lacked the initiator methionine, the amino acid sequence obtained over the first eleven N-terminal residues agreed with that predicted from the cDNA clone, pmusGST Yc. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of the mouse Yc polypeptide with the primary structures of the rat Alpha-class GST enzymes revealed that it is more closely related to the ethoxyquin-induced rat liver Yc2 subunit than to the constitutively expressed rat liver Yc1 subunit. The significance of the fact that both mouse Yc and rat Yc2 exhibit high catalytic activity towards AFB1-8,9-epoxide, whereas rat Yc1 possesses little activity towards this compound, is discussed in terms of structure/function.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)173-80
    Number of pages8
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1992


    • Aflatoxin B1/analogs & derivatives
    • Amino Acid Sequence
    • Animals
    • Base Sequence
    • Blotting, Western
    • Catalysis
    • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
    • Cloning, Molecular
    • DNA
    • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
    • Escherichia coli/enzymology
    • Gene Expression
    • Glutathione Transferase/genetics
    • Mice
    • Mice, Inbred BALB C
    • Molecular Sequence Data
    • Plasmids
    • Restriction Mapping


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