Glutathione S-Transferase Activity and Glutathione S-Transferase μ Expression in Subjects with Risk for Colorectal Cancer

Christine E. Szarka, Gordon R. Pfeiffer, Susan T. Hum, Lynette C. Everley, Andrew M. Balshem, Dirk Moore, Samuel Litwin, Eric B. Goosenberg, Harold Frucht, Paul F. Engstrom, Margie L. Clapper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

The glutathione 5-transferases (α, μ, and π), a family of Phase II detoxication enzymes, play a critical role in protecting the colon mucosa by catalyzing the conjugation of dietary carcinogens with glutathione. We investigated the efficacy of using the glutathione 5-transferase (GST) activity of blood lymphocytes and GST-μ expression as biomarkers of risk for colorectal cancer. GST activity was measured in the blood lymphocytes of control individuals (n = 67) and in the blood lymphocytes (n = 60) and colon tissue (n = 34) of individuals at increased risk for colon cancer. Total GST activity was determined spectrophotometrically with the use of l-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene as a substrate. The ability to express the μ subclass of GST was determined with the use of an ELISA. Although interindividual variability in the GST activity of blood lymphocytes was greater than 8-fold (range, 16.7-146.8 nmol/min/mg), the GST activity of blood lymphocytes and colon tissue within an individual was constant over time and was unrelated to sex, age, or race. The GST activity of blood lymphocytes from high-risk individuals was significantly lower than that of blood lymphocytes from control individuals (P ≤ 0.004). No association was observed between the frequency of GST-μ phenotype and risk for colorectal cancer. Blood lymphocytes from hig-risk individuals unable to express GST-μ had lower levels of GST activity than did those from control subjects with the GST-u null phenotype; however, this difference was significant in male subjects only (P ≤ 0.006). Analysis of paired samples of blood lymphocytes and colon tissue indicated a strong correlation between the GST activity of the two tissue types (Spearman's rank correlation, r = 0.87; P ≤ 0.0001). The GST activity of blood lymphocytes may be used to identify high-risk individuals with decreased protection from this Phase II detoxication enzyme who may benefit from clinical trials evaluating GST modulators as chemopreventive agents for colorectal cancer. The GST activity of blood lymphocytes may also be used in colorectal cancer chemoprevention trials to monitor the responsiveness of colon tissue to regimens that modify Phase II detoxication enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2789-2793
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Volume55
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Szarka, C. E., Pfeiffer, G. R., Hum, S. T., Everley, L. C., Balshem, A. M., Moore, D., Litwin, S., Goosenberg, E. B., Frucht, H., Engstrom, P. F., & Clapper, M. L. (1995). Glutathione S-Transferase Activity and Glutathione S-Transferase μ Expression in Subjects with Risk for Colorectal Cancer. Cancer Research, 55(13), 2789-2793.