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

Cell cycle progression of glutathione-depleted human peripheral blood mononuclear cells is inhibited at S phase.

Glutathione (GSH) the most abundant nonprotein thiol, is involved in the maintenance of the cellular redox state. In this capacity it may influence lymphocyte responsiveness to various stimuli. We have investigated the requirement of GSH during the activation and proliferation of PBMC. The intracellular GSH content of PBMC was altered by continuous culture or pretreatment with buthionine-S,R-sulfoximine (BSO), a specific and irreversible inhibitor of GSH synthesis. Initial experiments demonstrated that the addition of BSO at the initiation of culture, or shortly thereafter (6 hr), inhibited DNA synthesis and produced a simultaneous decrease in intracellular GSH. It was necessary that the BSO be present in the culture for at least 24 hr prior to the initiation of DNA synthesis for maximal inhibition. Cell cycle analysis revealed that BSO did not affect the entry and progression of PBMC through G1 of the cell cycle, however, entry into S-phase was inhibited in a dose-dependent fashion. These results were further substantiated by the inability of BSO to inhibit IL-2 production and expression of the IL-2R. In addition the timely expression of the transferrin receptor by BSO-treated cells indicated that the block occurred at the G1/S transition. The influence of GSH on early activation events was determined by BSO pretreatments. Lowering the intracellular GSH level of PBMC to less than 10% of the initial content prior to mitogenic stimulation did not impair the ability of these cells to produce IL-2 and express IL-2R, indicating that GSH may not be involved in the generation and response to early activation signals. Furthermore, the removal of BSO from these cultures rapidly reversed its inhibitory effects on DNA and GSH synthesis. In the course of these studies we also observed a modest (17%) albeit consistent increase during activation in the total thiol levels of GSH-depleted PBMC. These thiols may have a key role in the activation process. These data support our hypothesis that GSH is required for lymphocyte proliferation and that additional thiols are involved during the activation process.[1]


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