, Volume 12, Issue 1-3, pp 155-170

Glutathione-related enzymes, glutathione and multidrug resistance

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This review examines the hypothesis that glutathione and its associated enzymes contribute to the overall drug-resistance seen in multidrug resistant cell lines. Reports of 34 cell lines independently selected for resistance to MDR drugs are compared for evidence of consistent changes in activity of glutathione-related enzymes as well as for changes in glutathione content. The role of glutathione S-transferases in MDR is further analyzed by comparing changes in sensitivity to MDR drugs in cell lines selected for resistance to non-MDR drugs that have resulting increases in glutathione S-transferase activity. In addition, results of studies in which genes for glutathione S-transferase isozymes were transfected into drug-sensitive cells are reviewed. The role of the glutathione redox cycle is examined by comparing changes in elements of this cycle in MDR cell lines as well as by analyzing reports of the effects of glutathione depletion on MDR drug sensitivity. Overall, there is no consistent or compelling evidence that glutathione and its associated enzymes augment resistance in multidrug resistant cell lines.