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Glutathione S-transferase genotypes in systemic sclerosis and their association with clinical manifestations in early disease

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:57pm

By M. B. Tew and Colleague

The glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a family of enzymes involved in limiting oxidative damage to tissues. Null alleles for one or more of the GST enzymes, especially GSTM1, reportedly occur more frequently in patients with Sjögren's syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus who possess certain autoantibodies. Because systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a disease in which oxidative damage has been hypothesized to contribute both to immune dysfunction and tissue damage, we sought to determine if patients from a multi-ethnic cohort of SSc patients with early disease (5 years) were more likely than ethnically-matched normal controls to have null alleles for GSTM1 (M1) and/or GSTT1 (T1), and if the null allele status correlated with any major disease features.

The data show that while M1 and T1 null genotypes were not significantly increased in SSc compared to ethnically matched controls, their frequencies (especially T1 nulls) were significantly higher among SSc patients with hypertension and pulmonary involvement. This suggests that GST genotype may be a genetic factor that contributes to clinical disease expression in SSc.

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