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Abstract

An advanced biochemistry laboratory has been designed to focus on a detoxifying enzyme, glutathione-S-transferase, which is involved in the metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, herbicides, and other electrophilic xenobiotic compounds. The enzyme is known to catalyze conjugation of glutathione to xenobiotics, which makes them water-soluble so that they can be easily discarded through further metabolism and excretion. About two-thirds of the laboratory course incorporates nine advanced biochemical techniques, all focused to analyze various chemical characteristics of the glutathione-S-transferase. The remaining third of the semester time students work on a project that involves application of all the newly acquired techniques to solve a biochemical problem that encompasses the same detoxifying enzyme.