Activation of the microsomal glutathione S-transferase by metabolites of alpha-methyldopa

G R Haenen, F P Jansen, N P Vermeulen, A Bast

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Rat liver microsomes contain a membrane-bound GSH S-transferase (GSH-tr), an enzyme that is involved in the detoxication of xenobiotics. Also located on rat liver microsomes is the cytochrome P450 system, an enzyme complex that catalyzes the conversion of several xenobiotics into reactive intermediates. In this study, it was demonstrated that reactive products from alpha-methyldopa formed by the cytochrome P450 system are able to stimulate microsomal GSH-tr. Also, products formed from alpha-methyldopa that are generated by H2O2-horseradish peroxidase and tyrosinase are able to stimulate the activity of microsomal GSH-tr. GSH was able to prevent the activation of microsomal GSH-tr. Our results indicate that the ortho-quinone or semi-ortho-quinone radical of alpha-methyldopa is responsible for the stimulation of microsomal GSH-tr, probably via arylation of the free sulfhydryl group of microsomal GSH-tr. This conclusion was supported by the observation that 4-methyl-ortho-quinone itself was able to stimulate microsomal GSH-tr via sulfhydryl arylation. Our results are in conformity with the hypothesis that reactive products formed by the cytochrome P450 complex are able to stimulate microsomal GSH-tr and possibly in this way enhance their detoxication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 1991


  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Methyldopa
  • Microsomes, Liver
  • Rats
  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Activation of the microsomal glutathione S-transferase by metabolites of alpha-methyldopa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this