Irreversible inhibition of rat glutathione S-transferase 1-1 by quinones and their glutathione conjugates. Structure-activity relationship and mechanism

B. Van Ommen, J. H T M Ploemen, J. J P Bogaards, Terrence Monks, S. S. Gau, P. J. Van Bladeren

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The irreversible inhibition of the rat glutathione S-transferase (GST) isoenzyme 1-1 by a series of halogenated 1,4-benzoquinones and their GSH conjugates was studied quantitatively by analysing the time course of enzyme inactivation. With increasing numbers of chlorine substituents, the rate of inhibition greatly increased. Incorporation of a GSH moiety in all cases increased the rate of inactivation compared with the non-substituted compound, and this was due to the increased affinity of the inhibitor for the active site. The ratio between the rates of inhibition for a given quinone with and without GSH substituent was largest for the three dichlorobenzoquinones, with the 2,6-isomer showing a 41-fold increase in rate of inhibition upon conjugation with GSH. The time courses of inhibition could be fitted either to a bi-exponential function (for the GSH conjugates and the higher chlorinated quinones) or to a mono-exponential function (all other quinones). It is concluded that the second component describes the affinity part of the reaction. GST 1-1 possesses two cysteine residues, with modification of one of these, probably located in the vicinity of the active site, having a major impact on the enzyme activity. Compounds with affinity towards the active site preferentially react with this residue. Nonspecific quinones react equally with both cysteine residues. This was confirmed by the observation that complete inactivation of GST 1-1 by 2,5-dichlorobenzoquinone was achieved only after modification of two residues, whereas the corresponding GSH conjugate already completely inhibited the enzyme after modification of one residue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-666
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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