Mutagenicity of glutathione and cysteine in the Ames test

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Science  27 May 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4600, pp. 961-963
DOI: 10.1126/science.6342137


Postmitochondrial supernatant from rat liver and kidney homogenates transformed cysteine into a mutagen that reverted bacteria of the strain Salmonella typhimurium TA100 to histidine independence. Glutathione was also activated by kidney postmitochondrial supernatant but not by liver preparations. Hence, important endogenous compounds of mammals are positive in the most commonly used short-term test for carcinogenicity and mutagenicity. Glutathione is positive in the test even at concentrations found in mammalian tissues.