To study the function of gamma-glutamyl leukotrienase (GGL), a newly identified member of the gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) family, we generated null mutations in GGL (GGL(tm1)) and in both GGL and GGT (GGL(tm1)-GGT(tm1)) by a serial targeting strategy using embryonic stem cells. Mice homozygous for GGL(tm1) show no obvious phenotypic changes. Mice deficient in both GGT and GGL have a phenotype similar to the GGT-deficient mice, but approximately 70% of these mice die before 4 weeks of age, at least 2 months earlier than mice deficient only in GGT. These double-mutant mice are unable to cleave leukotriene C(4) (LTC(4)) to LTD(4), indicating that this conversion is completely dependent on the two enzymes, and in some organs (spleen and uterus) deletion of GGL alone abolished more than 90% of this activity. In an experimental model of peritonitis, GGL alone is responsible for the generation of peritoneal LTD(4). Further, during the development of peritonitis, GGL-deficient mice show an attenuation in neutrophil recruitment but not of plasma protein influx. These findings demonstrate an important role for GGL in the inflammatory response and suggest that LTC(4) and LTD(4) have distinctly different functions in the inflammatory process.