Signaling molecules: hydrogen sulfide and polysulfide.Antioxid Redox Signal. 2015 Feb 10; 22(5):362-76.AR
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been recognized as a signaling molecule as well as a cytoprotectant. It modulates neurotransmission, regulates vascular tone, and protects various tissues and organs, including neurons, the heart, and kidneys, from oxidative stress and ischemia-reperfusion injury. H2S is produced from l-cysteine by cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST) along with cysteine aminotransferase.
In addition to these enzymes, we recently identified a novel pathway to produce H2S from d-cysteine, which involves d-amino acid oxidase (DAO) along with 3MST. These enzymes are localized in the cytoplasm, mitochondria, and peroxisomes. However, some enzymes translocate to organelles under specific conditions. Moreover, H2S-derived potential signaling molecules such as polysulfides and HSNO have been identified.
The physiological stimulations, which trigger the production of H2S and its derivatives and maintain their local levels, remain unclear.
Understanding the regulation of the H2S production and H2S-derived signaling molecules and the specific stimuli that induce their release will provide new insights into the biology of H2S and therapeutic development in diseases involving these substances.