What is Glutathione Reductase?

Glutathione reductase is an enzyme that is found in the human body. It is encoded by the GSR gene which is used to help the blood cells especially the red blood cells. This will also help protect the body against oxidative damage.

Glutathione Reductase

   

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A person may have a deficiency in this enzyme due to exposure to specific drugs or other chemicals. A reduced level of this chemical by nature is very rare.


Glutathione-reductaseStudies have been conducted on glutathione reductase to get a better understanding of how the red blood cells work in the human body.

If this enzyme is found is a serum form in labatory testing then it may indicate that there is a reduced nicotinaminde adenine dinucleotide level in the body.

Levels of this enzyme are purposely reducing when blood is stored in blood banks so that the phosphate dextrose levels can be preserved and the blood can be used when it is needed.

This enzyme will reduce the metabolism of the red blood cells so that the blood will stay fresh.


In addition to working with the red blood cells, glutathione reductase will also help people that are suffering from stress. It will help those cells reduce oxidative stress levels in the cells of the body.

This enzyme will hunt out the hydroxyl radicals, singlet oxygen, and a number of electrophiles that are found to be harmful to the body

This enzyme will also reduce the oxidation of glutathione peroxidase which will turn into hydrogen peroxide that can be dangerous to the cells. This will also help the cells of the body receive the vitamins that they need to stay healthy including Vitamin E and Vitamin C.

The cell will be able to properly oxidize these vitamins and get the nutrients that they need.


Glutathione reductase that is found in humans is considered to be a homodimer. This enzyme is made up of 52Kd monomers and each of these monomers has three domains. This enzyme has a single sheet that is double layered with topology and there are anti parallel beta sheets as well.

These sheets are exposed to other cells. This enzyme is also made up of NADPH binding domains as well as FAD binding domains. This enzyme is able to function up to temperatures reaching 65 degrees Celsius.


While the average person may not know about the glutathione reductase levels in their body there are several reasons why it is important. This is one of the keys to cellular antioxidants and will help with two metabolic clearances.

This will include the clearance of electrophilic xenobitics. This is also a pathway enzyme that affects the balance of the cells. While many in the health care and the pharmaceutical industry have tired to make this compound it has not yet been successfully replicated.

This enzyme has also been shown to help reduce the affects that the malaria parasite has on the human body.

While it is not a cure it has been shown to reduce the protein fold in malaria. It has also been shown to induce oxidative stress in malaria which will prevent it from affecting the host and making the host sick.


There are two main classes that are found in glutathione redutase. The first compound is inhibitors of GSSG binding or dimerization. The second compounds are drugs which use this enzyme to regenerate themselves.

This includes redox cyclers as well as napththoquinone.


While glutathione reductase can do the body good, too much of this compound is not a good thing and can cause serious health issues. The condition Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the body produces light levels of antibodies that attack the DNA in the human body as well as some other cells.

A study has found that African Americans with lupus has high levels of glutathione reductase in their system. In these people with lupus the enzyme was also less present in the T cells. Scientists feel that this enzyme may be one of the causes of reactive oxygen in the African American population as well.


While too much glutathione reductase is not a good thing in the body, the body does not function well if it deficient either. While a deficiency is rare it is possible. People that have conditions such as erythrocytes and leukocytes have been found to be deficient in glutathione reductase.

People that have trouble with their eyes including conditions such as catalase have also been found to be deficient in this enzyme.

A person can become deficient if they do not get enough of the mineral riboflavin in their diet. To monitor the level of this enzyme in the body a person can have an oxidative stress test. This test is performed by monitoring the levels of NADPH consumption along with the absorbance of the 340nm.

A scientist can than watch the formation of this enzyme. The redox sensitive Green Fluorescent Protein tests can also be given. The levels of the glutathione reductase in the system will show up as a bright green color and will be easy to see.


Scientists and researchers first took notice of the glutathione reductase in the body back in the year 1955. E. Racker who was a scientist from Yale identified this enzyme in the body as the primary electron donor.

While this enzyme does not have an overly complicated structure it did take scientists several years to figure out how it worked.

By 1977, scientists were able to find and understand the structure of this enzyme. By 1978, there continued to be advances in the scientific community. Glutathione reductase has been studied in depth since this time. Currently, this enzyme is well classified and well characterized by the scientific community.


The enzymes in the human body are important to know and to understand. Many people are unfamiliar with glutathione reductase. This enzyme has many functions in the body and is needed for overall health. The body is a wonder of enzymes and cells that work together to allow a person to be healthy.

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