Glutathione efflux and cell death

Rodrigo Franco, John A. Cidlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


Significance: Glutathione (GSH) depletion is a central signaling event that regulates the activation of cell death pathways. GSH depletion is often taken as a marker of oxidative stress and thus, as a consequence of its antioxidant properties scavenging reactive species of both oxygen and nitrogen (ROS/RNS). Recent Advances: There is increasing evidence demonstrating that GSH loss is an active phenomenon regulating the redox signaling events modulating cell death activation and progression. Critical Issues: In this work, we review the role of GSH depletion by its efflux, as an important event regulating alterations in the cellular redox balance during cell death independent from oxidative stress and ROS/RNS formation. We discuss the mechanisms involved in GSH efflux during cell death progression and the redox signaling events by which GSH depletion regulates the activation of the cell death machinery. Future Directions: The evidence summarized here clearly places GSH transport as a central mechanism mediating redox signaling during cell death progression. Future studies should be directed toward identifying the molecular identity of GSH transporters mediating GSH extrusion during cell death, and addressing the lack of sensitive approaches to quantify GSH efflux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1694-1713
Number of pages20
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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