A novel persulfide detection method reveals protein persulfide- and polysulfide-reducing functions of thioredoxin and glutathione systems.
ABSTRACT: 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.
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:Irreversible oxidation of Cys residues to sulfinic/sulfonic forms typically impairs protein function. We found that persulfidation (CysSSH) protects Cys from irreversible oxidative loss of function by the formation of CysSSO1-3H derivatives that can subsequently be reduced back to native thiols. Reductive reactivation of oxidized persulfides by the thioredoxin system was demonstrated in albumin, Prx2, and PTP1B. In cells, this mechanism protects and regulates key proteins of signaling pathways, including Prx2, PTEN, PTP1B, HSP90, and KEAP1. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we show that (i) CysSSH and CysSSO3H species are abundant in mouse liver and enzymatically regulated by the glutathione and thioredoxin systems and (ii) deletion of the thioredoxin-related protein TRP14 in mice altered CysSSH levels on a subset of proteins, predicting a role for TRP14 in persulfide signaling. Furthermore, selenium supplementation, polysulfide treatment, or knockdown of TRP14 mediated cellular responses to EGF, suggesting a role for TrxR1/TRP14-regulated oxidative persulfidation in growth factor responsiveness.
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: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 a cardioprotective signaling molecule but is toxic at elevated concentrations. Red blood cells can synthesize H2S but, lacking organelles, cannot dispose of H2S via the mitochondrial sulfide oxidation pathway. We have recently shown that at high sulfide concentrations, ferric hemoglobin oxidizes H2S to a mixture of thiosulfate and iron-bound polysulfides in which the latter species predominates. Here, we report the crystal structure of human hemoglobin containing low spin ferric sulfide, the first intermediate in heme-catalyzed sulfide oxidation. The structure provides molecular insights into why sulfide is susceptible to oxidation in human hemoglobin but is stabilized against it in HbI, a specialized sulfide-carrying hemoglobin from a mollusk adapted to life in a sulfide-rich environment. We have also captured a second sulfide bound at a postulated ligand entry/exit site in the ?-subunit of hemoglobin, which, to the best of our knowledge, represents the first direct evidence for this site being used to access the heme iron. Hydrodisulfide, a postulated intermediate at the junction between thiosulfate and polysulfide formation, coordinates ferric hemoglobin and, in the presence of air, generated thiosulfate. At low sulfide/heme iron ratios, the product distribution between thiosulfate and iron-bound polysulfides was approximately equal. The iron-bound polysulfides were unstable at physiological glutathione concentrations and were reduced with concomitant formation of glutathione persulfide, glutathione disulfide, and H2S. Hence, although polysulfides are unlikely to be stable in the reducing intracellular milieu, glutathione persulfide could serve as a persulfide donor for protein persulfidation, a posttranslational modification by which H2S is postulated to signal.
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:Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic nosocomial pathogen that is the causative agent of several serious infections in humans, including pneumonia, sepsis, and wound and burn infections. A. baumannii is also capable of forming proteinaceous biofilms on both abiotic and epithelial cell surfaces. Here, we investigate the response of A. baumannii toward sodium sulfide (Na2S), known to be associated with some biofilms at oxic/anoxic interfaces. The addition of exogenous inorganic sulfide reveals that A. baumannii encodes two persulfide-sensing transcriptional regulators, a primary ?54-dependent transcriptional activator (FisR), and a secondary system controlled by the persulfide-sensing biofilm growth-associated repressor (BigR), which is only induced by sulfide in a fisR deletion strain. FisR activates an operon encoding a sulfide oxidation/detoxification system similar to that characterized previously in Staphylococcus aureus, while BigR regulates a secondary persulfide dioxygenase (PDO2) as part of yeeE-yedE-pdo2 sulfur detoxification operon, found previously in Serratia spp. Global S-sulfuration (persulfidation) mapping of the soluble proteome reveals 513 persulfidation targets well beyond FisR-regulated genes and includes five transcriptional regulators, most notably the master biofilm regulator BfmR and a poorly characterized catabolite regulatory protein (Crp). Both BfmR and Crp are well known to impact biofilm formation in A. baumannii and other organisms, respectively, suggesting that persulfidation of these regulators may control their activities. The implications of these findings on bacterial sulfide homeostasis, persulfide signaling, and biofilm formation are discussed.IMPORTANCE Although hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has long been known as a respiratory poison, recent reports in numerous bacterial pathogens reveal that H2S and more downstream oxidized forms of sulfur collectedly termed reactive sulfur species (RSS) function as antioxidants to combat host efforts to clear the infection. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the transcriptional and proteomic response of A. baumannii to exogenous sulfide as a model for how this important human pathogen manages sulfide/RSS homeostasis. We show that A. baumannii is unique in that it encodes two independent persulfide sensing and detoxification pathways that govern the speciation of bioactive sulfur in cells. The secondary persulfide sensor, BigR, impacts the expression of biofilm-associated genes; in addition, we identify two other transcriptional regulators known or projected to regulate biofilm formation, BfmR and Crp, as highly persulfidated in sulfide-exposed cells. These findings significantly strengthen the connection between sulfide homeostasis and biofilm formation in an important human pathogen.
Project description:Persulfides (RSSH) have been hypothesized as critical components in sulfur-mediated redox cycles and as potential signaling compounds, similar to hydrogen sulfide (H2 S). Hindering the study of persulfides is a lack of persulfide-donor compounds with selective triggers that release discrete persulfide species. Reported here is the synthesis and characterization of a ROS-responsive (ROS=reactive oxygen species), self-immolative persulfide donor. The donor, termed BDP-NAC, showed selectivity towards H2 O2 over other potential oxidative or nucleophilic triggers, resulting in the sustained release of the persulfide of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) over the course of 2?h, as measured by LCMS. Exposure of H9C2 cardiomyocytes to H2 O2 revealed that BDP-NAC mitigated the effects of a highly oxidative environment in a dose-dependent manner over relevant controls and to a greater degree than common H2 S donors sodium sulfide (Na2 S) and GYY4137. BDP-NAC also rescued cells more effectively than a non-persulfide-releasing control compound in concert with common H2 S donors and thiols.
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: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.