Glutathione (a tripeptide made up of glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine) takes part in a number of detoxification, transport and metabolic processes. Examples include the degradation of peroxides by glutathione peroxidase, maintaining sulfhydryl groups (SH groups) in proteins in the correct oxidation state, the break down of parts of the diet and of potentially harmful molecules like medicines, pesticides, alfatoxins and polycyclic aromatic carbohydrates, as well as the trapping of free radicals.


In all of these reactions, the reactive component of glutathione is the mercapto group of the cysteine residue, which is oxidized to a disulfide bond during the dimerization of two gultathione molecules.

Monomeric form

Dimeric form