glutathione glu·ta·thi·one (glōō'tə-thī'ōn')
A tripeptide of the amino acids glycine, cystine, and glutamic acid occurring widely in plant and animal tissues and forming reduced and oxidized forms important in biological oxidation-reduction reactions.
|glutathione (gl'tə-thī'ōn') Pronunciation Key
A polypeptide consisting of glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid that occurs widely in plant and animal tissues. It is important in cellular respiration in both plants and animals, and serves as a cofactor for many enzymes. It is a major protective mechanism against oxidative stress. For example, it protects red blood cells from hydrogen peroxide, a toxic byproduct of certain metabolic reactions.
a tripeptide (i.e., compound composed of three amino acids), the chemical name of which is gamma-l-glutamyl-l-cysteinylglycine. Widely distributed in nature, it has been isolated from yeast, muscle, and liver. Glutathione has a role in the respiration of both mammalian and plant tissues and protects red blood cells against hydrogen peroxide, which is a toxic by-product of many metabolic reactions, by reducing the peroxide to water. It serves as a cofactor for various enzymes; e.g., glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, to which it becomes firmly bound.
Learn more about glutathione with a free trial on Britannica.com.