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O'connor T, Ireland LS, Harrison DJ & Hayes JD. Major differences exist in the function and tissue specific expression of human aflatoxin B1 aldehyde reductase and the principal human aldo-keto reductase AKR1 family members. Biochem 1999; J 343: 487–504.
Aflatoxins M1 and Q1 are not broken any further but are excreted in the urine. Aflatoxin B1-exo-8,9-epoxide may be converted either to aflatoxin-mercapturic acid via the GST conjugate mediated route or into aflatoxin-glucuronide via the aflatoxin-dihydrodiol route described as follows. The activated form of aflatoxin B1 (exoepoxides and endoepoxides) is detoxified through glutathione S-transferase- (GST-) mediated conjugation by using reduced glutathione (GSH) to form AFB1 exoepoxide-GSH and endoepoxide-GSH conjugates, respectively . The reactive exoepoxides and endoepoxides also undergo rapid nonenzymatic hydrolysis to aflatoxin B1-8,9-dihydrodiol that slowly transforms into a dialdehyde phenolate ion [9, 15]. Dialdehyde phenolate ion is subsequently hydrolyzed by aflatoxin aldehyde reductase.