Reactive cysteine persulfides and S-polythiolation regulate oxidative stress and redox signaling.
ABSTRACT: Using methodology developed herein, it is found that reactive persulfides and polysulfides are formed endogenously from both small molecule species and proteins in high amounts in mammalian cells and tissues. These reactive sulfur species were biosynthesized by two major sulfurtransferases: cystathionine ?-synthase and cystathionine ?-lyase. Quantitation of these species indicates that high concentrations of glutathione persulfide (perhydropersulfide >100 ?M) and other cysteine persulfide and polysulfide derivatives in peptides/proteins were endogenously produced and maintained in the plasma, cells, and tissues of mammals (rodent and human). It is expected that persulfides are especially nucleophilic and reducing. This view was found to be the case, because they quickly react with H2O2 and a recently described biologically generated electrophile 8-nitroguanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate. These results indicate that persulfides are potentially important signaling/effector species, and because H2S can be generated from persulfide degradation, much of the reported biological activity associated with H2S may actually be that of persulfides. That is, H2S may act primarily as a marker for the biologically active of persulfide species.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) elicits pleiotropic physiological effects ranging from modulation of cardiovascular to CNS functions. A dominant method for transmission of sulfide-based signals is via posttranslational modification of reactive cysteine thiols to persulfides. However, the source of the persulfide donor and whether its relationship to H2S is as a product or precursor is controversial. The transsulfuration pathway enzymes can synthesize cysteine persulfide (Cys-SSH) from cystine and H2S from cysteine and/or homocysteine. Recently, Cys-SSH was proposed as the primary product of the transsulfuration pathway with H2S representing a decomposition product of Cys-SSH. Our detailed kinetic analyses demonstrate a robust capacity for Cys-SSH production by the human transsulfuration pathway enzymes, cystathionine beta-synthase and ?-cystathionase (CSE) and for homocysteine persulfide synthesis from homocystine by CSE only. However, in the reducing cytoplasmic milieu where the concentration of reduced thiols is significantly higher than of disulfides, substrate level regulation favors the synthesis of H2S over persulfides. Mathematical modeling at physiologically relevant hepatic substrate concentrations predicts that H2S rather than Cys-SSH is the primary product of the transsulfuration enzymes with CSE being the dominant producer. The half-life of the metastable Cys-SSH product is short and decomposition leads to a mixture of polysulfides (Cys-S-(S)n-S-Cys). These in vitro data, together with the intrinsic reactivity of Cys-SSH for cysteinyl versus sulfur transfer, are consistent with the absence of an observable increase in protein persulfidation in cells in response to exogenous cystine and evidence for the formation of polysulfides under these conditions.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide has emerged as an important gaseous signaling molecule and a regulator of critical biological processes. However, the physiological significance of hydrogen sulfide metabolites such as persulfides, polysulfides, and other reactive sulfur species (RSS) has only recently been appreciated. Emerging evidence suggests that these RSS molecules may have similar or divergent regulatory roles compared with hydrogen sulfide in various biological activities. However, the chemical nature of persulfides and polysulfides is complex and remains poorly understood within cardiovascular and other pathophysiological conditions. Recent reports suggest that RSS can be produced endogenously, with different forms having unique chemical properties and biological implications involving diverse cellular responses such as protein biosynthesis, cell-cell barrier functions, and mitochondrial bioenergetics. Enzymes of the transsulfuration pathway, CBS (cystathionine beta-synthase) and CSE (cystathionine gamma-lyase), may also produce RSS metabolites besides hydrogen sulfide. Moreover, CARSs (cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase) are also able to generate protein persulfides via cysteine persulfide (CysSSH) incorporation into nascently formed polypeptides suggesting a new biologically relevant amino acid. This brief review discusses the biochemical nature and potential roles of RSS, associated oxidative stress redox signaling, and future research opportunities in cardiovascular disease.
Project description:The chemical species involved in H2S signaling remain elusive despite the profound and pleiotropic physiological effects elicited by this molecule. The dominant candidate mechanism for sulfide signaling is persulfidation of target proteins. However, the relatively poor reactivity of H2S toward oxidized thiols, such as disulfides, the low concentration of disulfides in the reducing milieu of the cell and the low steady-state concentration of H2S raise questions about the plausibility of persulfide formation via reaction between an oxidized thiol and a sulfide anion or a reduced thiol and oxidized hydrogen disulfide. In contrast, sulfide oxidation pathways, considered to be primarily mechanisms for disposing of excess sulfide, generate a series of reactive sulfur species, including persulfides, polysulfides and thiosulfate, that could modify target proteins. We posit that sulfide oxidation pathways mediate sulfide signaling and that sulfurtransferases ensure target specificity.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide is ubiquitous in biological systems and exerts function over a wide range of important physiological processes. Complementing free H2S, the reductant-labile sulfur pool plays significant roles in the translocation and action of sulfide, however the chemistry of reductant-labile sulfide sources has not been studied systematically. Using a combination of NMR and UV-Vis spectroscopy, we investigated the spectroscopic properties and reactivity of three isolated organic persulfides and report a simple model for persulfide reactivity, including their roles as nucleophiles, electrophiles, and sulfide donors.
Project description:Recent studies of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) signaling implicate low molecular weight (LMW) thiol persulfides and other reactive sulfur species (RSS) as signaling effectors. Here, we show that a CstR protein from the human pathogen Enterococcus faecalis ( E. faecalis), previously identified in Staphylococcus aureus ( S. aureus), is an RSS-sensing repressor that transcriptionally regulates a cst-like operon in response to both exogenous sulfide stress and Angeli's salt, a precursor of nitroxyl (HNO). E. faecalis CstR reacts with coenzyme A persulfide (CoASSH) to form interprotomer disulfide and trisulfide bridges between C32 and C61', which negatively regulate DNA binding to a consensus CstR DNA operator. A ? cstR strain exhibits deficiency in catheter colonization in a catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) mouse model, suggesting sulfide regulation and homeostasis is critical for pathogenicity. Cellular polysulfide metabolite profiling of sodium sulfide-stressed E. faecalis confirms an increase in both inorganic polysulfides and LMW thiols and persulfides sensed by CstR. The cst-like operon encodes two authentic thiosulfate sulfurtransferases and an enzyme we characterize here as an NADH and FAD-dependent coenzyme A (CoA) persulfide reductase (CoAPR) that harbors an N-terminal CoA disulfide reductase (CDR) domain and a C-terminal rhodanese homology domain (RHD). Both cysteines in the CDR (C42) and RHD (C508) domains are required for CoAPR activity and complementation of a sulfide-induced growth phenotype of a S. aureus strain lacking cstB, encoding a nonheme FeII persulfide dioxygenase. We propose that S. aureus CstB and E. faecalis CoAPR employ orthogonal chemistries to lower CoASSH that accumulates under conditions of cellular sulfide toxicity and signaling.
Project description:H2S is an important signalling molecule involved in diverse biological processes. It mediates the formation of cysteine persulfides (R-S-SH), which affect the activity of target proteins. Like thiols, persulfides show reactivity towards electrophiles and behave similarly to other cysteine modifications in a biotin switch assay. In this manuscript, we report on qPerS-SID a mass spectrometry-based method allowing the isolation of persulfide containing peptides in the mammalian proteome. With this method, we demonstrated that H2S donors differ in their efficacy to induce persulfides in HEK293 cells. Furthermore, data analysis revealed that persulfide formation affects all subcellular compartments and various cellular processes. Negatively charged amino acids appeared more frequently adjacent to cysteines forming persulfides. We confirmed our proteomic data using pyruvate kinase M2 as a model protein and showed that several cysteine residues are prone to persulfide formation finally leading to its inactivation. Taken together, the site-specific identification of persulfides on a proteome scale can help to identify target proteins involved in H2S signalling and enlightens the biology of H2S and its releasing agents.
Project description:Many physiological functions of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) have been reported in mammalian cells over the last 20 years. These physiological effects have been ascertained through in vitro treatment of cells with Na2S or NaHS, both of which are precursors of H2S. Since H2S exists as HS- in a neutral solution, a disulfide compound such as cystine could react with HS- in culture medium as well as in the cell. This study demonstrated that after the addition of Na2S solution into culture medium, HS- was transiently generated and disappeared immediately through the reaction between HS- and cystine to form cysteine persulfides and polysulfides in the culture medium (bound sulfur mixture: BS-Mix). Furthermore, we found that the addition of Na2S solution resulted in an increase of intracellular cysteine persulfide levels in SH-SY5Y cells. This alteration in intracellular persulfide was also observed in cystine-free medium. Considering this reaction of HS- as a precursor of BS-Mix, we highlighted the cytoprotective effect of Na2S on human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells against methylglyoxal (MG)-induced toxicity. BS-Mix produced with Na2S in cystine-containing medium provided SH-SY5Y cells significant protective effect against MG-induced toxicity. However, the protective effect was attenuated in cystine-free medium. Moreover, we observed that Na2S or BS-Mix activated the Keap1/Nrf2 system and increased glutathione (GSH) levels in the cell. In addition, the activation of Nrf2 is significantly attenuated in cystine-free medium. These results suggested that Na2S protects SH-SY5Y cells from MG cytotoxicity through the activation of Nrf2, mediated by cysteine persulfides and polysulfides that were generated by Na2S addition.
Project description:Recent studies conducted in hydrogen sulfide (H2S) signaling have revealed potential importance of persulfides (RSSH) in redox biology. The inherent instability of RSSH makes these species difficult to study and sometimes controversial results are reported. In this review article we summarize known knowledge about both small molecule persulfides and protein persulfides. Their fundamental physical and chemical properties such as preparation/formation and reactivity are discussed. The biological implications of persulfides and their detection methods are also discussed.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has emerged as a signalling molecule capable of regulating several important physiological functions such as blood pressure, neurotransmission and inflammation. The mechanisms behind these effects are still largely elusive and oxidative posttranslational modification of cysteine residues (protein persulfidation or S-sulfhydration) has been proposed as the main pathway for H2S-induced biological and pharmacological effects. As a signalling mechanism, persulfidation has to be controlled. Using an improved tag-switch assay for persulfide detection we show here that protein persulfide levels are controlled by the thioredoxin system. Recombinant thioredoxin showed an almost 10-fold higher reactivity towards cysteine persulfide than towards cystine and readily cleaved protein persulfides as well. This reaction resulted in H2S release suggesting that thioredoxin could be an important regulator of H2S levels from persulfide pools. Inhibition of the thioredoxin system caused an increase in intracellular persulfides, highlighting thioredoxin as a major protein depersulfidase that controls H2S signalling. Finally, using plasma from HIV-1 patients that have higher circulatory levels of thioredoxin, we could prove depersulfidase role in vivo.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide signaling involves persulfide formation at specific protein Cys residues. However, overcoming current methodological challenges in persulfide detection and elucidation of Cys regeneration mechanisms from persulfides are prerequisites for constructing a bona fide signaling model. We here establish a novel, highly specific protein persulfide detection protocol, ProPerDP, with which we quantify 1.52 ± 0.6 and 11.6 ± 6.9 ?g/mg protein steady-state protein persulfide concentrations in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells and mouse liver, respectively. Upon treatment with polysulfides, HEK293 and A549 cells exhibited increased protein persulfidation. Deletion of the sulfide-producing cystathionine-?-lyase or cystathionine-?-synthase enzymes in yeast diminished protein persulfide levels, thereby corroborating their involvement in protein persulfidation processes. We here establish that thioredoxin (Trx) and glutathione (GSH) systems can independently catalyze reductions of inorganic polysulfides and protein persulfides. Increased endogenous persulfide levels and protein persulfidation following polysulfide treatment in thioredoxin reductase-1 (TrxR1) or thioredoxin-related protein of 14 kDa (TRP14) knockdown HEK293 cells indicated that these enzymes constitute a potent regeneration system of Cys residues from persulfides in a cellular context. Furthermore, TrxR1-deficient cells were less viable upon treatment with toxic amounts of polysulfides compared to control cells. Emphasizing the dominant role of cytosolic disulfide reduction systems in maintaining sulfane sulfur homeostasis in vivo, protein persulfide levels were markedly elevated in mouse livers where hepatocytes lack both TrxR1 and glutathione reductase (TR/GR-null). The different persulfide patterns observed in wild-type, GR-null, and TR/GR-null livers suggest distinct roles for the Trx and GSH systems in regulating subsets of protein persulfides and thereby fine-tuning sulfide signaling pathways.