Glutathione S-transferase isozymes in Aedes aegypti: Purification, characterization, and isozyme-specific regulation

David F. Grant, Eric C. Dietze, Bruce D. Hammock

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Glutathione S-transferase (GST) isozymes were purified from the GG strain of Aedes aegypti, a strain having ≥4-fold higher total GST activity compared to the wild-type lab strain. Purification involved S-hexyl-glutathione affinity chromatography in high salt buffer, and GST specific elution with S-(p-bromobenzyl)-glutathione. Final purification was accomplished on DEAE-Sepharose. Two isozymes, GST-1b and GST-2 were purified using this procedure, and an additional isozyme, GST-1a, was partially purified. The GST-2 isozyme has one of the highest specific activities reported for a GST, with a specific activity of 739 μmol/min/mg using 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), and 16.4 μmol/min/mg using 3,4-dichloronitrobenzene (DCNB) as substrates. GST-2, GST-1a, and GST-1b were analyzed for amino acid composition and subjected to N-terminal sequencing. All three GSTs showed amino acid differences, especially among the nonpolar and polar amino acids. The amino acid composition of GST-1b was found to be more similar to GST 1-1 from Drosophila melanogaster than to GST-2 or GST-1a from Aedes aegypti. Only GST-2 gave N-terminal sequence data, raising the possibility that GST-1a and 1b are N-terminally blocked. The A. aegypti GST-2 showed amino acid sequence identity or similarity in all but one residue between residue numbers 31 through 41 compared to the D. melanogaster and Musca domestica GST 1-1 isozymes. The pattern of GST isozyme expression was analyzed in various tissues and stages of development of the GG and wild type strains using isozyme-specific antisera and substrates. GST-1a was constitutively overexpressed in all tissues examined in the GG strain compared to the wild type strain. The expression of GST-1b was similar in both strains for all tissues and developmental stages examined. GST-2 was constitutively overexpressed in head, thorax and abdomen, but was not detected in ovaries of the GG strain. These results suggest that elevated GST activity in the GG strain is due to constitutive overexpression of GST-2 and GST-1a. GST-1a, GST-1b and GST-2 apparently are the products of 3 independently regulated genes and appear to be expressed in a tissue-specific manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-433
Number of pages13
JournalInsect Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • Aedes aegypti
  • enzyme purification
  • glutathione S-transferase
  • isozyme regulation


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