Effect of vitamin E on glutathione-dependent enzymes

R.I.M. van Haaften*, G.R.M.M. Haenen, C.T.A. Evelo, A. Bast

*Corresponding author for this work

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Effect of vitamin E on glutathione-dependent enzymes.

van Haaften RI, Haenen GR, Evelo CT, Bast A.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Rachel.vanHaaften@BiGCaT.unimaas.nl

Reactive oxygen species and various electrophiles are involved in the etiology of diseases varying from cancer to cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders. The human body is protected against damaging effects of these compounds by a wide variety of systems. An important line of defense is formed by antioxidants. Vitamin E (consisting of various forms of tocopherols and tocotrienols) is an important fat-soluble, chain-breaking antioxidant. Besides working as an antioxidant, this compound possesses other functions with possible physiological relevance. The glutathione-dependent enzymes form another line of defense. Two important enzymes in this class are the free radical reductase and glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). The GSTs are a family of phase II detoxification enzymes. They can catalyze glutathione conjugation with various electrophiles. In most cases the electrophiles are detoxified by this conjugation, but in some cases the electrophiles are activated. Antioxidants do not act in isolation but form an intricate network. It is, for instance, known that vitamin E, together with glutathione (GSH) and a membrane-bound heat labile GSH-dependent factor, presumably an enzyme, can prevent damaging effects of reactive oxygen species on polyunsaturated fatty acids in biomembranes (lipid peroxidation). This manuscript reviews the interaction between the two defense systems, vitamin E and glutathione-dependent enzymes. On the simplest level, antioxidants such as vitamin E have protective effects on glutathione-dependent enzymes; however, we will see that reality is somewhat more complicated
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-253
Number of pages36
JournalDrug Metabolism Reviews
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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