Original Article

Correlation Between Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Activity and Glutathione Levels in Molecular Subgroups of Breast Cancer


  • Sevgi Yardım Akaydın
  • Ece Miser Salihoğlu
  • Dilek Gelen Güngör
  • Hasan Karanlık
  • Semra Demokan

Received Date: 06.08.2019 Accepted Date: 10.10.2019 Eur J Breast Health 2020;16(1):72-76


The gamma-glutamyl cycle catalyzed by gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) plays an important role in glutathione (GSH) homeostasis in the cell. In cells continuously exposed to the drug, the main phase of the enzymatic detoxification is the conjugation of the drug with GSH catalyzed by glutathione-S-transferase (GST). Conjugation of drugs with GSH is the first step in the development of chemotherapeutic drug resistance. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between GGT and GSH in molecular subgroups of breast cancer patients.

Materials and Methods:

Serum GGT activity and GSH levels for patients diagnosed with breast cancer (n=58) and healthy controls (n=8) were measured by a spectrophotometric method and a colorimetric kit, respectively.


GGT activity was significantly higher in the total patient group and in the molecular subgroups than those in the control groups (p<0.05). Serum GSH levels were higher in the patient groups compared to controls without reaching statistical significance (p>0.05). GGT activity was positively correlated with GSH levels in the total patients and healthy controls (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). There was also a positive correlation between GGT activity and GSH levels in Luminal A, HER2-positive (Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), and Triple-negative groups (p<0.05).


This is the first study showing the relationship between GGT and GSH in molecular subgroups of breast cancer. An increase in GGT activity may affect intracellular GSH synthesis. Therefore, having a correlation between GGT and GSH in some molecular subgroups may affect the course of treatment in these patients.

Keywords: Gamma-glutamyltransferase, glutathione, molecular subgroups of breast cancer