Reduced glutathione and S-acetylglutathione as selective apoptosis-inducing agents in cancer therapy

Cancer Lett. 1996 Dec 20;110(1-2):63-70. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(96)04461-8.


The effect of reduced glutathione (GSH) and S-acetylglutathione (S-acglu) treatment on several tumor cell lines and normal cells in vitro was investigated. GSH and S-acglu applied at concentrations of 1 mM and 2 mM induced apoptosis in malignant cells as shown by DNA-fragmentation and staining of apoptotic cells with 7-amino-actinomycin D while viability and growth of normal cells were not significantly influenced by this treatment. The results demonstrated that GSH and S-acglu may be selective inducers of apoptosis in malignant cells.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / drug effects*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Glutathione / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glutathione / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • S-acetylglutathione
  • Glutathione