We have isolated from a λgtl0 cDNA library a clone λGTH4 which encodes a human liver glutathione S-transferase Hb subunit, designated as subunit 4. Expression of this cDNA in E. coli and subsequent purification and immunoblotting analysis provided a definitive assignment of a structure and function relationship. RNA blot hybridization with human liver poly(A) RNA revealed a single band of ∼1200 nucleotides, comparable in size to the rat brain Yb3 mRNA. Divergence analysis of amino acid replacement sites in subunit 4 relative to the four rat Yb subunits revealed that it is most closely related to the brain-specific Yb3 subunit. This conclusion is further substantiated by the nucleotide sequence homology between λGTH4 and the Yb3 cDNA in their 3′ untranslated region. In situ chromosome mapping has located this glutathione S-transferase gene in the region of p31 on chromosome 1. Results from many laboratories, including ours, indicate that the human glutathione S-transferases are encoded by a gene superfamily which is located on at least two different chromosomes.
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