The glutathione-related detoxification pathway in the human breast: a highly coordinated system disrupted in the tumour tissues

Cancer Lett. 2000 Sep 29;158(1):7-16. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(00)00481-x.


Glutathione and the associated enzymes, glutathione S-transferases, peroxidases, and reductase, have been implicated in cancer chemoresistance. This pathway was investigated in paired cancerous and peritumoral breast samples from 41 women. The tumours exhibited a higher redox status as deduced from increased transferase, peroxidase, and reductase activities and from higher total and reduced glutathione contents. Several components were strongly correlated in peritumoral tissues, suggesting a highly co-ordinated glutathione pathway that appeared disrupted in breast tumours with only a few correlations left. Therefore, resistance could spontaneously result from deregulated variations in the glutathione pathway, which might be relevant to the malignant disease progression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast / enzymology
  • Breast / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Reductase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inactivation, Metabolic / physiology*
  • Middle Aged


  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Glutathione