Hormonal regulation of glutathione S-transferase expression in co-cultured adult rat hepatocytes.
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) were isolated from rat liver, lung, heart, kidney, testis and brain by coupled affinity chromatography and subunits were resolved by reverse-phase h.p.l.c. The reverse-phase h.p.l.c. technique was improved from our previously published work [Johnson, Neal, Collins & Siegel (1990) Biochem. J. 270, 483-489] by changing from a C4 to a C18 wide-pore reverse-phase column; this resulted in baseline or near-baseline resolution of all GST subunits. There were significant tissue-dependent differences in the expression of GST subunits and the level of GST subunits present was quantitatively determined for each of the tissues. The extent of methylation of GSTs in vitro and distribution of GST methyltransferase (GST-MT) was determined in cytosolic fractions from each of these tissues. Purified GST isoenzymes were methylated with partially purified liver GST-MT. Methylation of Mu class subunits 3 and 4, the preferred substrates of methylation in liver, was substoichiometric in all tissues. The extent of methylation of subunit 3 ranged from 0.13% to 0.94% and subunit 4 from 0.03% to 0.60%. Methylation of Alpha class subunits was either not detectable or 5-10-fold less than that of Mu class subunits 3 and 4. Pi class subunit 7 was methylated to a greater extent than the Alpha class subunits but less than Mu class isoenzymes. A notable exception to this low level of methylation was GST 11-11, found mainly in testis and brain. Methylation of subunit 11 reached 21.9% (219 pmol of methyl group/nmol of subunit 11) when this isoenzyme was incubated with partially purified liver GST methyltransferase. Methylation of GST 11-11 was found to inhibit the conjugating activity of this isoenzyme towards 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene; the degree of inhibition of conjugating activity correlated with the extent of methylation of GST 11-11. GST-MT activity toward GST subunits 3, 4 and 11 was present in kidney and liver, detectable in lung and heart, but absent from brain and testis. Anion-exchange chromatography of GST-MTs from liver and kidney suggested the presence of four different forms of GST-MT (I-IV) and indicated that GST-MT isoenzymes III and IV were present at significantly lower concentrations in kidney than liver. The present paper shows that methylation is an enzyme-catalysed reaction that differs in substrate-specificity with respect to different GST isoenzymes, that expression of GST-MT is tissue-dependent and multiple forms of the enzyme are present in liver and kidney, and that methylation inhibits GST activity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)