IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: glutathione hydrolase

Reaction: glutathione + H2O = L-cysteinylglycine + L-glutamate

Other name(s): glutathionase; GGT (ambiguous); γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (ambiguous)

Comments: This protein also has EC (γ-glutamyltransferase) activity. The enzyme consists of two chains that are created by the proteolytic cleavage of a single precursor polypeptide. The N-terminal L-threonine of the C-terminal subunit functions as the active site for both the cleavage and the hydrolysis reactions [2-5]. The human enzyme also hydrolyses oxidized glutathione and leukotriene C4 with similar efficiency, while the mouse enzyme does not [6-7].

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number:


1. Hanigan, M.H. and Ricketts, W.A. Extracellular glutathione is a source of cysteine for cells that express γ-glutamyl transpeptidase. Biochemistry 32 (1993) 6302-6306. [PMID: 8099811]

2. Suzuki, H. and Kumagai, H. Autocatalytic processing of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase. J. Biol. Chem. 277 (2002) 43536-43543. [PMID: 12207027]

3. Okada, T., Suzuki, H., Wada, K., Kumagai, H. and Fukuyama, K. Crystal structures of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase from Escherichia coli, a key enzyme in glutathione metabolism, and its reaction intermediate. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103 (2006) 6471-6476. [PMID: 16618936]

4. Boanca, G., Sand, A., Okada, T., Suzuki, H., Kumagai, H., Fukuyama, K. and Barycki, J.J. Autoprocessing of Helicobacter pylori γ-glutamyltranspeptidase leads to the formation of a threonine-threonine catalytic dyad. J. Biol. Chem. 282 (2007) 534-541. [PMID: 17107958]

5. Okada, T., Suzuki, H., Wada, K., Kumagai, H. and Fukuyama, K. Crystal structure of the γ-glutamyltranspeptidase precursor protein from Escherichia coli. Structural changes upon autocatalytic processing and implications for the maturation mechanism. J. Biol. Chem. 282 (2007) 2433-2439. [PMID: 17135273]

6. Wickham, S., West, M.B., Cook, P.F. and Hanigan, M.H. Gamma-glutamyl compounds: substrate specificity of γ-glutamyl transpeptidase enzymes. Anal. Biochem. 414 (2011) 208-214. [PMID: 21447318]

7. Carter, B.Z., Wiseman, A.L., Orkiszewski, R., Ballard, K.D., Ou, C.N. and Lieberman, M.W. Metabolism of leukotriene C4 in γ-glutamyl transpeptidase-deficient mice. J. Biol. Chem. 272 (1997) 12305-12310. [PMID: 9139674]

[EC created 2011]

Return to EC 3.4.19 home page
Return to EC 3.4 home page
Return to EC 3 home page
Return to Enzymes home page
Return to IUBMB Biochemical Nomenclature home page