About Margaret O James
Margaret James, Ph.D., investigates factors affecting the metabolism and toxicity of drugs and other xenobiotics in humans and animal species, including aquatic species. She was chosen as the Jack C Massey Professor of Pharmacy in 2006, as a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, 1997-2000, and as a UF Term professor 2018-2021. Her laboratory studies mechanisms of uptake, biotransformation, excretion and toxicity of xenobiotics, especially environmental chemicals. Dr. James also investigates the influence of xenobiotics on the metabolism of steroid hormones.
Drug Biotransformation and Toxicology: Role of glutathione transferase zeta in the metabolism of dichloroacetic acid.
Dichloroacetate is both an orphan drug, used to reverse the Warburg effect in cancer cells and to treat acquired and congenital lactic acidosis, and an environmental pollutant found in chlorinated drinking water. The first step in metabolism of dichloroacetate is glutathione-dependent dehalogenation to glyoxylate, catalyzed by GSTZ1, an enzyme whose physiological function is in isomerization of tyrosine catabolites. As well as the studying the biotransformation of dichloroacetate, we are interested in understanding the toxicological effects of exposure to this agent.