The Antioxidant Glutathione (GSH)
Discovered more than a century ago (De Rey-Pailhade, J., 1885), the most abundant antioxidant in the cell is glutathione (GSH). A tripeptide composed of glutamate, cysteine and glycine, the rate-limiting, non-redundant step in GSH synthesis is the condensation of glutamate and cysteine. This step is governed by a holoenzyme called glutamate-cysteine ligase which consists of a catalytic subunit (GCLC) and modifying subunit (GCLM). Acting as a cofactor, GSH works with enzymes to convert reactive oxygen species (ROS) into a benign species and quech oxidative stress. While GSH has been implicated in numerous cellular processes, many questions regarding its roles in the cell remain to be elucidated.
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