The vicinal haloalkenes are toxicants commonly found at many Superfund sites. Of the 30 most common toxicants detected at Superfund sites, five are nephrotoxic vicinal haloalkenes. Unlike other halogenated hydrocarbons, vicinal haloalkenes uniquely damage the kidney by destroying proximal tubule cells and induce renal carcinomas. It is believed that the nephrotoxic and nephrocarcinogenic effects of vicinal haloalkenes stems from their conversion in hepatic microsomes by the enzyme microsomal glutathione transferase-1 (MGST1) to GSH S-conjugates, which are transported to intestine and then converted to the corresponding cysteine S-conjugates. These cysteine S-conjugates are then transported to the kidney and cleaved by renal cysteine beta-lyases to form toxic haloalkylthiols that damage mitochondria in renal proximal tubular cells. This hypothesis is controversial as there are competing theories that do not include a role for either the liver or for MGST1. Confirmation (or disproof) of this hypothesis has been difficult due to the complex interaction between multiple organ systems and a lack of in vitro models. Complicating the issue is the recent finding that there are multiple human microsomal glutathione transferases capable of conjugating halogenated hydrocarbons. Our objectives are [1] To definitively determine the role of MGST1 in modulating the toxicity of these Superfund vicinal haloalkene contaminates. This will be accomplished by producing both MGST1 overexpressing animals and two types of MGST1 -deficient animals (complete MGST1 nulls versus liver-deficient only) and determining their sensitivity/resistance to the prototype vicinal haloalkenes trichloroethylene (TCE) and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD). Our studies will confirm the tissue and subcellular distribution of MGST1, which is also controversial, and also determine if deletion of MGST1 results in compensatory changes in other cytosolic and microsomal GST isoforms and in select antioxidant systems. We will also investigate the stress-induced regulation of MGST1 by examining variation in mRNA transcripts that are produced by alternative start sites, and monitoring changes in MGST1 protein content in various organs. [2] To determine if other members of the MGST family are capable of conjugating vicinal haloalkenes and thereby have a potential role in bioactivation of these toxins. [3] To determine whether recombinant MGST proteins could assist in bioremediation of HCBD. [4] To determine the relative contribution of MGST1 and MGST2 to cellular antioxidant capacity through studies utilizing human MGST1 and MGST2 null cells.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
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Xenobiotic and Nutrient Disposition and Action Study Section (XNDA)
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Balshaw, David M
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
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Kelner, Michael J; Diccianni, Mitchell B; Yu, Alice L et al. (2014) Absence of MGST1 mRNA and protein expression in human neuroblastoma cell lines and primary tissue. Free Radic Biol Med 69:167-71