Expression of glutathione S-transferase π and glutathione synthase correlates with survival in early stage non-small cell carcinomas of the lung

Timothy C. Allen, Laura A. Granville, Philip T. Cagle, Abida Haque, Dani S. Zander, Roberto Barrios

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21 Scopus citations


The glutathione S-transferase (GST) family of genes encode for detoxification enzymes that protect against reactive oxygen species and influence host susceptibility to carcinogens, including tobacco smoke. It has not been determined whether isoenzyme GST-π or glutathione synthase (GSH2) expression by tumor cells bears a relationship to survival. A total of 201 non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) with long-term follow-up were immunostained with antibodies to GST-π and GSH2 using standard immunostaining techniques. Results were graded semiquantitatively using a scale of 0 to 3 (0 ≤ 10%; 1 = 10%-50%; 2 = 51%-80%; 3 ≥ 80%) for both nuclear and cytoplasmic staining. Results were correlated with patient survival using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Nuclear staining with GST-π in greater than 10% of the cells was closely associated with decreased survival (P = .02) in stage I and II squamous cell carcinomas (n = 40). Cytoplasmic staining showed a similar trend that did not reach statistical significance. No significant correlation between GST-π staining and survival was determined for other histologic types of NSCLC. Cytoplasmic GSH2 staining in greater than 80% of tumor cells was associated with a trend toward improved survival for stage I adenocarcinoma (P = .08) but did not show a relationship to survival for other histologic types of NSCLC. GST-π expression predicts prognosis in stage I and II squamous cell lung carcinoma, and GSH2 expression may indicate better survival in early stage adenocarcinoma of the lung. Manipulation of GST-π and GSH2 may be a potential basis for treatment of some NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007



  • GSH2
  • GST-π
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione S-transferase π
  • Lung carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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