The glutathione S-transferases are a major group of soluble liver proteins that are involved in the cellular detoxification of electrophilic compounds. Several of these transferases, in particular glutathione S-transferase B or ligandin, interact with chemical carcinogens in vivo. This review presents evidence that ligandin and the other glutathione S-transferases reduce the susceptibility of the liver to aminoazo dye-, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-, and aromatic amine-induced carcinogenesis. Several possible mechanisms by which the transferases reduce hepatocarcinogenesis are proposed. These mechanisms include the direct binding and detoxification of carcinogens by the transferases and the inactivation of steroids and other agents that indirectly stimulate carcinogen activation.


Research in this laboratory is supported by Research Grants AM 08350 and AM 13531 from the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases; by Grant HD 05874 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and by a grant to the Fels Research Institute. CA 12227, from the National Cancer Institute.

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