* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 17, 2014; Revision received August 10, 2014
Over the last decade fundamentally new features have been revealed for the participation of glutathione and glutathione-dependent enzymes (glutathione transferase and glutaredoxin) in cell proliferation, apoptosis, protein folding, and cell signaling. Reduced glutathione (GSH) plays an important role in maintaining cellular redox status by participating in thiol–disulfide exchange, which regulates a number of cell functions including gene expression and the activity of individual enzymes and enzyme systems. Maintaining optimum GSH/GSSG ratio is essential to cell viability. Decrease in the ratio can serve as an indicator of damage to the cell redox status and of changes in redox-dependent gene regulation. Disturbance of intracellular GSH balance is observed in a number of pathologies including cancer. Consequences of inappropriate GSH/GSSG ratio include significant changes in the mechanism of cellular redox-dependent signaling controlled both nonenzymatically and enzymatically with the participation of isoforms of glutathione transferase and glutaredoxin. This review summarizes recent data on the role of glutathione, glutathione transferase, and glutaredoxin in the regulation of cellular redox-dependent processes.
KEY WORDS: glutathione, glutathione transferase, glutaredoxin, redox regulation