First published January 1, 1986 - More info
Glutathione synthetase (GSH-S) is one of the two known hereditary causes of glutathione deficiency. We describe a family whose two children have hemolytic anemia. The children's erythrocytes lack GSH and are severely deficient in GSH-S activity. No neurologic findings or 5-oxoprolinuria were present. A concurrent deficiency of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) was also detected in the erythrocytes. Residual glutathione could be detected in the erythrocytes using a sensitive cycling assay. The deficiency was found to be most severe in reticulocyte-depleted preparations. The GSH-S activity of the erythrocytes of the parents was one-half normal, while the glutathione S-transferase activity was normal. We conclude that the primary defect is one of GSH-S. Glutathione stabilizes GST in vitro, and it is assumed that the deficiency of GST in the erythrocytes of the patients is due to the instability of this enzyme in the absence of adequate intracellular GSH levels.