Downregulation of glutathione S-transferase pi in asthma contributes to enhanced oxidative stress

Kathy T. Schroer, Aaron M. Gibson, Umasundari Sivaprasad, Stacey A. Bass, Mark B. Ericksen, Marsha Wills-Karp, Tim Lecras, Anne M. Fitzpatrick, Lou Ann S. Brown, Keith F. Stringer, Gurjit K.Khurana Hershey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Glutathione S-transferase pi (GSTPi) is the predominant redox regulator in the lung. Although evidence implicates an important role for GSTPi in asthma, the mechanism for this has remained elusive. Objectives: We sought to determine how GSTPi is regulated in asthma and to elucidate its role in maintaining redox homeostasis. Methods: We elucidated the regulation of GSTPi in children with asthma and used murine models of asthma to determine the role of GSTPi in redox homeostasis. Results: Our findings demonstrate that GSTPi transcript levels are markedly downregulated in allergen- and IL-13-treated murine models of asthma through signal transducer and activator of transcription 6-dependent and independent pathways. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 was also downregulated in these models. The decrease in GSTPi expression was associated with decreased total glutathione S-transferase activity in the lungs of mice. Examination of cystine intermediates uncovered a functional role for GSTPi in regulating cysteine oxidation, whereby GSTPi-deficient mice exhibited increased oxidative stress (increase in percentage cystine) compared with wild-type mice after allergen challenge. GSTPi expression was similarly downregulated in children with asthma. Conclusions: These data collectively suggest that downregulation of GSTPi after allergen challenge might contribute to the asthma phenotype because of disruption of redox homeostasis and increased oxidative stress. Furthermore, GSTPi might be an important therapeutic target for asthma, and evaluation of GSTPi expression might prove beneficial in identifying patients who would benefit from therapy targeting this pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-548
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Glutathione S-transferase pi
  • asthma
  • gene
  • oxidative stress
  • redox homeostasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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