L-Buthionine sulfoximine is a specific Î³-glutamylcysteine synthetase inhibitor that blocks the rate-limiting step of glutathionine biosynthesis and in doing so depletes the intracellular glutathionine pool in both cultured cells and in whole animals. Glutathionine (GSH) is a water-soluble tripeptide composed of glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. Reduced glutathione is the most abundant intracellular small molecule thiol present in mammalian cells and it serves as a potent intracellular antioxidant protecting cells from toxins such free radicals. Changes in glutathionine homeostasis have been implicated in the etiology and progression of a
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