Glutathione supports lipid abundance in vivo

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Feb 11:2023.02.10.524960. doi: 10.1101/2023.02.10.524960.


Cells rely on antioxidants to survive. The most abundant antioxidant is glutathione (GSH). The synthesis of GSH is non-redundantly controlled by the glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC). GSH imbalance is implicated in many diseases, but the requirement for GSH in adult tissues is unclear. To interrogate this, we developed a series of in vivo models to induce Gclc deletion in adult animals. We find that GSH is essential to lipid abundance in vivo. GSH levels are reported to be highest in liver tissue, which is also a hub for lipid production. While the loss of GSH did not cause liver failure, it decreased lipogenic enzyme expression, circulating triglyceride levels, and fat stores. Mechanistically, we found that GSH promotes lipid abundance by repressing NRF2, a transcription factor induced by oxidative stress. These studies identify GSH as a fulcrum in the liver's balance of redox buffering and triglyceride production.

Keywords: NRF2; glutathione; lipids; liver; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Preprint