Biological consilience of hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide in plants: Gases of primordial earth linking plant, microbial and animal physiologies.Nitric Oxide. 2016 05 01; 55-56:91-100.NO
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is produced in the mammalian body through the enzymatic activities of cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST). A growing number of studies have revealed that biogenic H2S produced in tissues is involved in a variety of physiological responses in mammals including vasorelaxation and neurotransmission. It is now evident that mammals utilize H2S to regulate multiple signaling systems, echoing the research history of the gaseous signaling molecules nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO) that had previously only been recognized for their cytotoxicity. In the human diet, meats (mammals, birds and fishes) and vegetables (plants) containing cysteine and other sulfur compounds are the major dietary sources for endogenous production of H2S. Plants are primary producers in ecosystems on the earth and they synthesize organic sulfur compounds through the activity of sulfur assimilation. Although plant H2S-producing activities have been known for a long time, our knowledge of H2S biology in plant systems has not been updated to the extent of mammalian studies. Here we review recent progress on H2S studies, highlighting plants and bacteria. Scoping the future integration of H2S, NO and O2 biology, we discuss a possible linkage between physiology, ecology and evolutional biology of gas metabolisms that may reflect the historical changes of the Earth's atmospheric composition.