Glutathione: Is it an evolutionary vestige of the penicillins?

J. E. Spallholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Glutathione is structurally similar to the precursor of the antibiotics found in the fungi of the genus Penicillium and Cephalosporium. The structural similarity is such to permit the rearrangement of glutathione to form the β-lactam ring, common to many antibiotics. The possibility exists that glutatione may have evolved away from an antibiotic role in cells with the evolutionary development of specialized cells of immune systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-257
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1987


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