Production of glutathione sulfonamide and dehydroglutathione from GSH by myeloperoxidase-derived oxidants and detection using a novel LC-MS/MS method

Biochem J. 2006 Oct 1;399(1):161-8. doi: 10.1042/BJ20060978.


GSH is rapidly oxidized by HOCl (hypochlorous acid), which is produced physiologically by the neutrophil enzyme myeloperoxidase. It is converted into, mainly, oxidized glutathione. Glutathione sulfonamide is an additional product that is proposed to be covalently bonded between the cysteinyl thiol and amino group of the gamma-glutamyl residue of GSH. We have developed a sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem MS assay for the detection and quantification of glutathione sulfonamide as well as GSH and GSSG. The assay was used to determine whether glutathione sulfonamide is a major product of the reaction between GSH and HOCl, and whether it is formed by other two-electron oxidants. At sub-stoichiometric ratios of HOCl to GSH, glutathione sulfonamide accounted for up to 32% of the GSH that was oxidized. It was also formed when HOCl was generated by myeloperoxidase and its yield increased with the flux of oxidant. Of the other oxidants tested, only hypobromous acid and peroxynitrite produced substantial amounts of glutathione sulfonamide, but much less than with HOCl. Chloramines were able to generate detectable levels only when at a stoichiometric excess over GSH. We conclude that glutathione sulfonamide is sufficiently selective for HOCl to be useful as a biomarker for myeloperoxidase activity in biological systems. We have also identified a novel oxidation product of GSH with a molecular weight two mass units less than GSH, which we have consequently named dehydroglutathione. Dehydroglutathione represented a few percent of the total products and was formed with all of the oxidants except H2O2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Glutathione / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glutathione / analysis
  • Glutathione / chemistry
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Glutathione Disulfide / chemistry
  • Glutathione Disulfide / metabolism
  • Hypochlorous Acid / chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidants / chemistry
  • Oxidants / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Peroxidase / chemistry
  • Peroxidase / metabolism*
  • Sulfones / analysis
  • Sulfones / chemistry
  • Sulfones / metabolism*


  • Oxidants
  • Sulfones
  • dehydroglutathione
  • glutathione sulfonamide
  • Hypochlorous Acid
  • Peroxidase
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione Disulfide