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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of glutathione in cardiac myocytes.

Reduced glutathione (GSH) is an essential, multifunctional tripepetide that controls redox-sensitive cellular processes, but its regulation in the heart is poorly understood. The present study used a pharmocological model of GSH depletion to examine cellular mechanisms controlling cardiac GSH. Inhibition of GSH metabolism was elicited in normal rats by daily injections of buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a blocker of gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase, plus 1,3-bis-(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU), an inhibitor of glutathione reductase. After 3 d of BSO/BCNU treatment, intracellular [GSH] was measured in isolated-ventricular myocytes by fluorescence microscopy using the probe monochlorobimane. Basal [GSH] in left-ventricular myocytes from BSO/BCNU-treated rats (2.0 +/- 0.05 amol/microm(3), n = 146) was 50% less than control (4.0 +/- 0.13 amol/microm(3), n = 116; P < 0.05). Incubation of myocytes from BSO/BCNU rats with 0.1 microM insulin normalized [GSH] after a delay of 3-4 h (3.6 +/- 0.29 amol/microm(3), n = 66). This effect of insulin was blocked by pre-treating myocytes with cycloheximide. A protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor, bis-peroxovanadium-1,10-phenanthroline (bpV(phen), 1 microM), elicited a similar effect as insulin, while neither agent altered [GSH] in myocytes from control rats. Moreover, the effect of insulin and bpV(phen) to up-regulate GSH was blocked by inhibitors of PI 3-kinase (wortmannin, LY294002), MEK (PD98059) and p38 MAP kinases (SB203580). These data suggest that the insulin-signaling cascade regulates [GSH] in ventricular myocytes by a coordinated activation of PI 3-kinase and MAP kinase pathways. These signaling mechanisms may play essential roles in controlling intracellular redox state and normal function of cardiac myocytes.[1]


  1. Regulation of glutathione in cardiac myocytes. Li, S., Li, X., Rozanski, G.J. J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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