Cellular detoxification is important for the routine removal of environmental and dietary carcinogens. Glutathione S-transferases (GST) are major cellular phase II detoxification enzymes. MRC-5 cells have been found to exhibit significantly higher GST activity than human H1355 cells. This study investigates whether GST-M2 activity acts as a critical determinant of the target dose of carcinogenic benzo[a]pyrene-diolepoxide (BPDE) and whether it has an effect on MDM2 splicing in the two cell lines. We used RT-PCR to clone Mu-class GST cDNA. Two forms of GST coming from the cell lines were characterized as GST-M2 (from MRC-5 cells) and GST-M4 (from H1355 cells). Nested-PCR showed that BPDE-induced MDM2 splicing had occurred in the H1355 cell line but not in normal MRC-5 cells. Furthermore, using nested-PCR and competitive ELISA, we found that in H1355 cells modified to stably overexpress GST-M2, splicing was abolished and BPDE adducts appeared in low abundance. In conclusion, exogenously overexpressed GST-M2 was effective in reducing BPDE-induced DNA damage in H1355 cells. The catalytic activity of GST-M2 may play an important future role in lowering the incidence of BPDE-induced DNA damage.
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