Regulation of glutathione S-transferases and aldehyde reductase by chemoprotectors: studies of mechanisms responsible for inducible resistance to aflatoxin B1

J D Hayes, R McLeod, E M Ellis, D J Pulford, L S Ireland, L I McLellan, D J Judah, M M Manson, G E Neal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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A number of xenobiotics, including the synthetic antioxidant ethoxyquin, inhibit aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in the rat. Two detoxification enzymes that mediate ethoxyquin-induced chemoprotection against AFB1 have been identified by protein purification: a glutathione S-transferase (GST) Yc2 subunit with at least 100-fold greater activity towards AFB1-8,9-epoxide than previously studied transferases, and a unique aldehyde reductase with activity towards the dialdehydic form of AFB1-8,9-dihydrodiol. Molecular cloning has revealed that the Yc2 subunit is a class alpha GST and that the aflatoxin-metabolizing aldehyde reductase (AFAR) is a distant member of the aldo-keto reductase superfamily. Enzyme assay and western blotting have shown that many chemoprotectors, such as ethoxyquin, butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, oltipraz and indole-3-carbinol, that inhibit AFB1-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis induce both GST Yc2 and AFAR. However, western blotting suggests that these enzymes are not always coordinately regulated, as treatment with phenobarbital and beta-naphthoflavone results in differences in the relative increase in hepatic GST Yc2 and AFAR. These findings indicate that GST Yc2 and AFAR represent important resistance mechanisms against AFB1 in the rat. This conclusion is supported by the observation that GST Yc2 and AFAR are overexpressed in rat liver preneoplastic nodules, which display pleiotropic drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-87
Number of pages13
JournalIARC Scientific Publications
Issue number139
Publication statusPublished - 1996



  • Aflatoxin B1/pharmacokinetics
  • Aldehyde Reductase/drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents/pharmacology
  • Biotransformation
  • Carcinogens/pharmacokinetics
  • Drug Resistance
  • Ethoxyquin/pharmacology
  • Glutathione Transferase/drug effects
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental/chemically induced
  • Rats

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