Heterogeneity of glutathione S-transferase enzyme and gene expression in ovarian carcinoma

John C. Schisselbauer, W. Michael Hogan, Kenneth H. Buetow, Kenneth D. Tew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Expression of the three major cytosolic elasses of glutathione S-transferases (GST; Pi, Aipha and Mu) was examined by 21) gel analysis and Western blotting of biopsies from 26 patients diagnosed with ovarian carcinoma. In contrast to other tissues, at least one ‘constitutive’ subunit from each of the three major cytosolic GST classes was expressed. In most cases, pi appeared to be the major form present, although levels of alpha and mu subunit expression were approximately equal to pi in some patients. There was no detectable effect of prior chemotherapy on enzyme activity. Mean transferase activity for primary carcinoma was 79.9±11.9 (mean ± SEM; nmol min-1 mg-1), with three pair-matched normal tissues showing minor decreases in transferase activity. One sample, in which a 32% increase in tumour enzyme activity was noted, was from a patient with primary disease and was associated with marked overexpression of a relatively basic form of alpha which was absent from the matching normal tissue, but present in 20% of all tumours examined. RFLP analysis of genomic tumour DNA using a human mu class cDNA probe indicated that at least two of the three mu forms (the ‘constitutive’ form and one other) observed in ovarian tissue were allelic variants, as a one-to-one correlation was observed between the presence of two Hind III fragments at 13.l and 2.2 kb and expression of a second, more basic, variable form. This latter form was positively identified as the mu class subunit µ based on Southern analysis and was seen to be present in 40% of the samples examined. However, in the absence of µ expression, at least one other mu class subunit probably corresponding to GST Ψ, was seen to be present. Thus, at least in ovarian tissues, absence of the µ subunit does not necessarily imply a lack of ability to metabolize µ substrates, as Ψ has similar catalytic activity. A third mu subunit, probably corresponding to GST Φ based on its relatively acidic pI, was also noted in 72% of samples examined, but has unknown substrate specificity. Increased expression of both alpha and mu forms may be of relevance to disease diagnosis and drug response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Heterogeneity of glutathione S-transferase enzyme and gene expression in ovarian carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this