The catalytic efficiencies of the allelic variants of human glutathione (GSH) S-transferase Pi (hGSTP1-1), which differ in their primary structures by the amino acids in positions 104 (isoleucine or valine) and/or 113 (alanine or valine), in the GSH conjugation (detoxification) of acrolein and crotonaldehyde have been determined. The k(cat)/K(m) values for hGSTP1-1 isoforms I104,A113 (IA), I104, V113 (IV), V104,A113 (VA) and V104,V113 (VV) toward acrolein were 129+/-3, 116+/-3, 128+/-4 and 92+/-3 mM(-1) s(-1), respectively. The catalytic efficiencies of the hGSTP1-1 variants IA, IV, and VA in the GSH conjugation of acrolein were statistically significantly higher (at P=0.05) compared with the VV isoform. On the other hand, the catalytic efficiencies of the hGSTP1-1 isoforms IA, IV, VA and VV toward crotonaldehyde (16+/-2, 12+/-1, 17+/-2, and 12+/-2 mM(-1)s(-1), respectively) were not statistically significantly different from each other. Our results suggest that hGSTP1-1 polymorphism may be an important factor in differential susceptibility of individuals to the toxic effects of acrolein, which is a widely spread environmental pollutant and generated endogenously during metabolic activation of anticancer drug cyclophosphamide.