Effects of inhibiting antioxidant pathways on cellular hydrogen sulfide and polysulfide metabolism.Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 05 01; 135:1-14.FR
Elaborate antioxidant pathways have evolved to minimize the threat of excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and to regulate ROS as signaling entities. ROS are chemically and functionally similar to reactive sulfur species (RSS) and both ROS and RSS have been shown to be metabolized by the antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase. Here we use fluorophores to examine the effects of a variety of inhibitors of antioxidant pathways on metabolism of two important RSS, hydrogen sulfide (H2S with AzMC) and polysulfides (H2Sn, where n = 2-7, with SSP4) in HEK293 cells. Cells were exposed to inhibitors for up to 5 days in normoxia (21% O2) and hypoxia (5% O2), conditions also known to affect ROS production. Decreasing intracellular glutathione (GSH) with l-buthionine-sulfoximine (BSO) or diethyl maleate (DEM) decreased H2S production for 5 days but did not affect H2Sn. The glutathione reductase inhibitor, auranofin, initially decreased H2S and H2Sn but after two days H2Sn increased over controls. Inhibition of peroxiredoxins with conoidin A decreased H2S and increased H2Sn, whereas the glutathione peroxidase inhibitor, tiopronin, increased H2S. Aminoadipic acid, an inhibitor of cystine uptake did not affect either H2S or H2Sn. In buffer, the glutathione reductase and thioredoxin reductase inhibitor, 2-AAPA, the glutathione peroxidase mimetic, ebselen, and tiopronin variously reacted directly with AzMC and SSP4, reacted with H2S and H2S2, or optically interfered with AzMC or SSP4 fluorescence. Collectively these results show that antioxidant inhibitors, generally known for their ability to increase cellular ROS, have various effects on cellular RSS. These findings suggest that the inhibitors may affect cellular sulfur metabolism pathways that are not related to ROS production and in some instances they may directly affect RSS or the methods used to measure them. They also illustrate the importance of carefully evaluating RSS metabolism when biologically or pharmacologically attempting to manipulate ROS.