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

Mechanism for the several activities of the glutathione S-transferases.

The catalyzed reactions of GSH with organic nitrate and thiocyanate esters and with a series of chloronitrobenzene substrates have been investigated and the results used to formulate a mechanism for glutathione S-transferase catalysis. All the homogeneous preparations of the glutathione transferases that have been tested catalyze the reaction of GSH with organic nitrates and thiocyanates. The nature of the reaction with nitrate esters, resulting in the formation of GSSG rather than a thioether, has been investigated further. The presence of an additional nonsubstrate thiol decreased the formation of GSSG to an extent that cannot be explained by disulfide interchange. These results are interpreted to reflect the enzymatic formation of an unstable glutathione sulfenyl nitrite that undergoes subsequent non-enzymatic decomposition. Hammett plots of the catalytic constants of rat liver transferases B and C obtained with a series of 4-substituted 1-chloro-2-nitrobenzene substrates demonstrate a linear relationship with sigma- substituent constants, reflecting the nucleophilic nature of the enzymatic reactions and their strong dependence on the electrophilicity of the nonthiol substrate. These data suggest that the many diverse reactions catalyzed by the glutathione transferases may be formulated as a nucleophilic attack of enzyme-bound GSH on the electrophilic center of the second substrate. The final products observed reflect this primary event and the existence of subsequent nonenzymatic reactions.[1]


  1. Mechanism for the several activities of the glutathione S-transferases. Keen, J.H., Habig, W.H., Jakoby, W.B. J. Biol. Chem. (1976) [Pubmed]
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