Article

Glutathione dysregulation and the etiology and progression of human diseases.

Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 2.69). 02/2009; 390(3):191-214. DOI: 10.1515/BC.2009.033
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glutathione (GSH) plays an important role in a multitude of cellular processes, including cell differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis, and as a result, disturbances in GSH homeostasis are implicated in the etiology and/or progression of a number of human diseases, including cancer, diseases of aging, cystic fibrosis, and cardiovascular, inflammatory, immune, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases. Owing to the pleiotropic effects of GSH on cell functions, it has been quite difficult to define the role of GSH in the onset and/or the expression of human diseases, although significant progress is being made. GSH levels, turnover rates, and/or oxidation state can be compromised by inherited or acquired defects in the enzymes, transporters, signaling molecules, or transcription factors that are involved in its homeostasis, or from exposure to reactive chemicals or metabolic intermediates. GSH deficiency or a decrease in the GSH/glutathione disulfide ratio manifests itself largely through an increased susceptibility to oxidative stress, and the resulting damage is thought to be involved in diseases, such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, imbalances in GSH levels affect immune system function, and are thought to play a role in the aging process. Just as low intracellular GSH levels decrease cellular antioxidant capacity, elevated GSH levels generally increase antioxidant capacity and resistance to oxidative stress, and this is observed in many cancer cells. The higher GSH levels in some tumor cells are also typically associated with higher levels of GSH-related enzymes and transporters. Although neither the mechanism nor the implications of these changes are well defined, the high GSH content makes cancer cells chemoresistant, which is a major factor that limits drug treatment. The present report highlights and integrates the growing connections between imbalances in GSH homeostasis and a multitude of human diseases.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
136 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: α and β asarones are natural constituents of some aromatic plants, especially species of the genus Acorus (Araceae). In addition to reports of beneficial properties of asarones, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity are also reported. Due to potential toxic effects of β-asarone, a limit of exposure from herbal products of ~2 μg/kg body weight/day has been set temporarily until a full benefit/risk assessment has been carried out by the European Medicines Agency. Therefore, it is important to monitor levels of β-asarone in herbal products. In this study, we developed a simple, rapid and validated GC-MS method for quantitative determination of asarones and applied it in 20 pediatric herbal products after detecting high concentrations of β-asarone in a product suspected to be implicated in hepatotoxicity in a 3 month old infant. Furthermore, targeted toxicological effects were further investigated in human hepatocytes (THLE-2 cells) by employing various in vitro assays, with the goal of elucidating possible mechanisms for the observed toxicity. Results showed that some of the products contained as much as 4-25 times greater amounts of β-asarone than the recommended levels. In 4 of 10 samples found to contain asarones, the presence of asarones could not be linked to the labeled ingredients, possibly due to poor quality control. Cell-based investigations in THLE-2 cells confirmed the cytotoxicity of β-asarone (IC50 = 40.0 ± 2.0 μg/mL) which was associated with significant lipid peroxidation and glutathione depletion. This observed cytotoxic effect is likely due to induction of oxidative stress by asarones. Overall, the results of this study ascertained the usability of this GC-MS method for the quantitative determination of asarones from herbal products, and shed light on the importance of controlling the concentration of potentially toxic asarones in herbal products to safeguard consumer safety, especially when the target consumers are young children. Further investigations of the toxicity of asarones are warranted.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 02/2015; 6:25. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2015.00025
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study ascertained the comparative capacities of single and combinatorial herbal formulations of Acanthus montanus, Emilia coccinea, Hibiscus rosasinensis and Asystasia gangetica to exert glycemic control and ameliorate oxidative stress in renal and hepatic tissues of alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rats (HyGR) following 30 days treatment. Phytochemical composition of the herbal extracts and fasting plasma glucose concentration (FPGC) of the rats were measured by standard methods. The post mitochondrial supernatant fractions (PMSF) of renal and hepatic tissues homogenates were measured for activity levels of glutathione peroxidase (GPOx), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) as well as glutathione (GSH) concentration. Comparatively, flavonoids were the most abundant phytochemical present in the four herbal extracts. FPGC of treated HyGR was within the range of 66.30 ± 0.71 - 133.00 ± 0.63 mg/dL as against the untreated hyperglycemic rat group = 368.20 ± 0.72 mg/dL (p < 0.05). At the end of the experimental time, treated HyGR liver SOD activities were lower than that of normal group (p < 0.05). Liver and kidney GPOx activities of HyGR were 2.36 folds and 3.93 folds lower than the normal rats. Furthermore, liver and kidney CAT activities of the treated HyGR were significantly (p < 0.05) lower than the normal rats, whereas liver and kidney GSH/GSSG ratios were significantly (p < 0.05) increased when compared with treated HyGR. Combinatorial herbal formulations exerted greater glycemic control than the single herbal formulations and caused a sparing effect on renal and hepatic antioxidants against reactive oxygen species.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The energetics of peptide bond formation is an important factor not only in the design of chemical peptide synthesis but also has a role in protein biosynthesis. In this work quantum chemical calculations at ten different levels of theory including G3MP2B3 were performed on the energetics of glutathione formation. The strength of the peptide bond is found to be closely related to the acid strength of the to-be N-terminal and the basicity of the to-be C-terminal amino acid. It is shown that the formation of the first peptide activates the amino acid for the next condensation step, manifested in bacterial protein synthesis where the first step is the formation of an N-formylmethionine dipeptide. The possible role of glutathione in prebiotic molecular evolution is also analyzed. The implications of the thermodynamics of peptide bond formation in prebiotic peptide formation as well as in the preference of α- instead of β- or γ-amino acids are discussed. An empirical correction is proposed for the compensation of the error due to the incapability of continuum solvation models in describing the change of the first solvation shell when a peptide bond is formed from two zwitterions accompanied by the disappearance of one ion pair.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 02/2015; DOI:10.1021/jp511582m · 3.38 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
19 Downloads
Available from
Jun 16, 2014