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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(3), 3145-3175; doi:10.3390/ijms13033145
Review

Glutathione Is a Key Player in Metal-Induced Oxidative Stress Defenses

,
,
 and *
Centre for Environmental Sciences, Hasselt University, Agoralaan Building D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2011 / Revised: 10 February 2012 / Accepted: 23 February 2012 / Published: 7 March 2012
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Abstract

Since the industrial revolution, the production, and consequently the emission of metals, has increased exponentially, overwhelming the natural cycles of metals in many ecosystems. Metals display a diverse array of physico-chemical properties such as essential versus non-essential and redox-active versus non-redox-active. In general, all metals can lead to toxicity and oxidative stress when taken up in excessive amounts, imposing a serious threat to the environment and human health. In order to cope with different kinds of metals, plants possess defense strategies in which glutathione (GSH; γ-glu-cys-gly) plays a central role as chelating agent, antioxidant and signaling component. Therefore, this review highlights the role of GSH in: (1) metal homeostasis; (2) antioxidative defense; and (3) signal transduction under metal stress. The diverse functions of GSH originate from the sulfhydryl group in cysteine, enabling GSH to chelate metals and participate in redox cycling.
Keywords: metals; cellular redox state; glutathione; chelation metals; cellular redox state; glutathione; chelation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Jozefczak, M.; Remans, T.; Vangronsveld, J.; Cuypers, A. Glutathione Is a Key Player in Metal-Induced Oxidative Stress Defenses. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 3145-3175.

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