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Glutathione and its dependent enzymes’ modulatory responses to toxic metals and metalloids in fish—a review


Toxic metals and metalloid are being rapidly added from multiple pathways to aquatic ecosystem and causing severe threats to inhabiting fauna including fish. Being common in all the type of aquatic ecosystems such as freshwater, marine and brackish water fish are the first to get prone to toxic metals and metalloids. In addition to a number of physiological/biochemical alterations, toxic metals and metalloids cause enhanced generation of varied reactive oxygen species (ROS) ultimately leading to a situation called oxidative stress. However, as an important component of antioxidant defence system in fish, the tripeptide glutathione (GSH) directly or indirectly regulates the scavenging of ROS and their reaction products. Additionally, several other GSH-associated enzymes such as GSH reductase (GR, EC, GSH peroxidase (EC, and GSH sulfotransferase (glutathione-S-transferase (GST), EC cumulatively protect fish against ROS and their reaction products accrued anomalies under toxic metals and metalloids stress conditions. The current review highlights recent research findings on the modulation of GSH, its redox couple (reduced glutathione/oxidised glutathione), and other GSH-related enzymes (GR, glutathione peroxidase, GST) involved in the detoxification of harmful ROS and their reaction products in toxic metals and metalloids-exposed fish.

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K. Srikanth is thankful to the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT) (SFRH/BPD/79490/2011) and the Aveiro Research Institute/Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) for financial supports. We would like to thank the unknown reviewers whose precious comments have made the review article more outstanding.

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Correspondence to I. Ahmad.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Srikanth, K., Pereira, E., Duarte, A.C. et al. Glutathione and its dependent enzymes’ modulatory responses to toxic metals and metalloids in fish—a review. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20, 2133–2149 (2013).

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  • Fish
  • Metal
  • Metalloids
  • Oxidative stress
  • Glutathione metabolism