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Genetic alterations of glutathione S-transferases in asthma: Do they modulate lung growth and response to environmental stimuli?

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Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) constitute a super family of dimeric phase II metabolic enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of reduced glutathione with various electrophilic compounds and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Failure to detoxify ROS, as a sequel of altered GST genotype is able to aggravate the inflammatory cascade, promote bronchoconstrictor mechanisms, activate asthma-like symptomatology, and hamper lung development. Intriguingly, the same GST genotype can aggravate or improve physiological traits and maturation of respiratory system, from gestation to late adulthood. This article attempts to unravel the complex interaction of GST's genetic variations with “inner” and “outer,” polymorphic and erratic, human environment (tobacco smoke, urban pollution, workplaces, and in utero status). Considering that these variations are very frequent among ethnicities and that GSTs play a part in respiratory system formation and maturation, they appear to be of great interest for the clinician and the researcher in this field.

Keywords: Asthma; genetic mechanism; genotype; glutathione S-transferase; lung growth; oxidative stress; polymorphism; risk factor

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: 1: From the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pneumology, University Hospital of Patras, Greece, and 2: Chest Diseases Hospital of Athens “Sotiria,” Greece

Publication date: May 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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