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Glutathione transferases (GSTs) are a family of multifunctional enzymes involved in xenobiotic biotransformation, drug metabolism, and protection against oxidative damage. The p38b mitogen-activated protein kinase is involved in cellular stress response. This study screened interactions between Drosophila melanogaster Meigen (Diptera: Drosophilidae) Delta class glutathione transferases (DmGSTs) and the D. melanogaster p38b MAPK. Therefore, 12 DmGSTs and p38b kinase were obtained as recombinant proteins. The study showed that DmGSTD8 and DmGSTD11b significantly increased p38b activity toward ATF2 and jun, which are transcription factor substrates. DmGSTD3 and DmGSTD5 moderately increased p38b activity for jun. In addition, GST activity in the presence of p38b was also measured. It was found that p38b affected substrate specificity toward CDNB (1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene) and DCNB (1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene) of several GST isoforms, i.e., DmGSTD2, DmGSTD5, DmGSTD8, and DmGSTD11b. The interaction of a GST and p38b can affect the substrate specificity of either enzyme, which suggests induced conformational changes affecting catalysis. Similar interactions do not occur for all the Delta enzymes and p38b, which suggests that these interactions could be specific.
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