The rat theta class glutathione S-transferase (GST) 5-5 has been shown to affect the mutagenicity of halogenated alkanes and epoxides. In Salmonella typhimurium TA1535 expressing the rat GST5-5 the number of revertants was increased compared to the control strain by CH2Br2, ethylene dibromide (EDB) and 1,2,3,4-diepoxybutane (BDE); in contrast, mutagenicity of 1,2-epoxy-3-(4'-nitro-phenoxy)propane (EPNP) was reduced. S.typhimurium TA1535 cells were transformed with an expression plasmid carrying the cDNA of the human theta ortholog GST1-1 either in sense or antisense orientation, the latter being the control. These transformed bacteria were utilized for mutagenicity assays. Mutagenicity of EDB, BDE, CH2Br2, epibromohydrin and 1,3-dichloroacetone was higher in the S.typhimurium TA1535 expressing GSTT1-1 than in the control strain. The expression of active enzyme did not affect the mutagenicity of 1,2-epoxy-3-butene or propylene oxide. GSTT1-1 expression reduced the mutagenicity of EPNP. Glutathione S-transferase 5-5 and GSTT1-1 modulate genotoxicity of several industrially important chemicals in the same way. Polymorphism of the GSTT1 locus in humans may therefore cause differences in cancer susceptibility between the two phenotypes.