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

Metabolism of ethanol and carcinogens by glutathione transferases.

Nonoxidative alcohol metabolism to form fatty acid ethyl esters contributes to alcohol-related end-organ damage, and these products are formed by two synthase enzymes. We recently purified the major (pI 4.9) synthase from human myocardium. The N-terminal sequence (A P Y T V V Y F P V R G R X K A L R M L X A D) is greater than 73% identical with that of a neutral (pI 6.7) detoxification enzyme, glutathione transferase P from rat hepatocellular carcinoma (P P Y T I V Y F P V R G R C E A T R M L L A D). Moreover, both the major human fatty acid ethyl ester synthase and bovine liver glutathione transferase catalyze the formation of fatty acid ethyl esters (Vmax 105 and 98 nmol per hr per mg, respectively). In addition, both enzymes catalyze the formation of glutathione-xenobiotic conjugates (Vmax 67 and 335 mol per hr per mol of enzyme, respectively). Physiological concentrations of glutathione increase the rate of formation of fatty acid ethyl esters up to 5-fold, and the glutathione transferase substrate 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene is a potent inhibitor of human myocardial fatty acid ethyl ester synthase. Thus, the identification of the major form of human myocardial fatty acid ethyl ester synthase as an acidic glutathione transferase links alcohol and xenobiotic metabolism and may relate the enhancement of tumorigenesis by alcohol abuse with carcinogen-conjugation reactions.[1]


  1. Metabolism of ethanol and carcinogens by glutathione transferases. Bora, P.S., Spilburg, C.A., Lange, L.G. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1989) [Pubmed]
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