Improved tag-switch method reveals that thioredoxin acts as depersulfidase and controls the intracellular levels of protein persulfidation.
ABSTRACT: 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:Signaling by H2S is proposed to occur via persulfidation, a posttranslational modification of cysteine residues (RSH) to persulfides (RSSH). Persulfidation provides a framework for understanding the physiological and pharmacological effects of H2S. Due to the inherent instability of persulfides, their chemistry is understudied. In this review, we discuss the biologically relevant chemistry of H2S and the enzymatic routes for its production and oxidation. We cover the chemical biology of persulfides and the chemical probes for detecting them. We conclude by discussing the roles ascribed to protein persulfidation in cell signaling pathways.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is thought to signal through protein S-sulfuration (persulfidation; S-sulfhydration) in both mammalian systems and bacteria. We previously profiled proteome S-sulfuration in Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and identified two thioredoxin-like proteins, designated TrxP and TrxQ, that were capable of reducing protein persulfides as a potential regulatory mechanism. In this study, we further characterize TrxP, TrxQ and the canonical thioredoxin, TrxA, by identifying candidate protein substrates in S. aureus cells using a mechanism-based profiling assay where we trap mixed disulfides that exist between the attacking cysteine of a FLAG-tagged Trx and a persulfidated cysteine on the candidate substrate protein in cells. Largely non-overlapping sets of four, 32 and three candidate cellular substrates were detected for TrxA, TrxP, and TrxQ, respectively, many of which were previously identified as global proteome S-sulfuration targets including for example, pyruvate kinase, PykA. Both TrxA (k cat = 0.13 s-1) and TrxP (k cat = 0.088 s-1) are capable of reducing protein persulfides on PykA, a model substrate detected as a candidate substrate of TrxP; in contrast, TrxQ shows lower activity (k cat = 0.015 s-1). This work reveals that protein S-sulfuration, central to H2S and reactive sulfur species (RSS) signaling, may impact cellular activities and appears to be regulated in S. aureus largely by TrxP under conditions of sulfide stress.
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.
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: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 (H2S) has emerged as a new member of the gaseous transmitter family of signaling molecules and appears to play a regulatory role in the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Recent studies suggest that protein cysteine S-sulfhydration may function as a mechanism for transforming the H2S signal into a biological response. However, selective detection of S-sulfhydryl modifications is challenging since the persulfide group (RSSH) exhibits reactivity akin to other sulfur species, especially thiols. A modification of the biotin switch technique, using S-methyl methanethiosulfonate (MMTS) as an alkylating reagent, was recently used to identify a large number of proteins that may undergo S-sulfhydration, but the underlying mechanism of chemical detection was not fully explored. To address this key issue, we have developed a protein persulfide model and analogue of MMTS, S-4-bromobenzyl methanethiosulfonate (BBMTS). Using these new reagents, we investigated the chemistry in the modified biotin switch method and examined the reactivity of protein persulfides toward different electrophile/nucleophile species. Together, our data affirm the nucleophilic properties of the persulfide sulfane sulfur and afford new insights into protein S-sulfhydryl chemistry, which may be exploited in future detection strategies.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is thought to protect bacteria from oxidative stress, but a comprehensive understanding of its function in bacteria is largely unexplored. In this study, we show that the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) harbors significant effector molecules of H2S signaling, reactive sulfur species (RSS), as low molecular weight persulfides of bacillithiol, coenzyme A, and cysteine, and significant inorganic polysulfide species. We find that proteome S-sulfhydration, a post-translational modification (PTM) in H2S signaling, is widespread in S. aureus. RSS levels modulate the expression of secreted virulence factors and the cytotoxicity of the secretome, consistent with an S-sulfhydration-dependent inhibition of DNA binding by MgrA, a global virulence regulator. Two previously uncharacterized thioredoxin-like proteins, denoted TrxP and TrxQ, are S-sulfhydrated in sulfide-stressed cells and are capable of reducing protein hydrodisulfides, suggesting that this PTM is potentially regulatory in S. aureus. In conclusion, our results reveal that S. aureus harbors a pool of proteome- and metabolite-derived RSS capable of impacting protein activities and gene regulation and that H2S signaling can be sensed by global regulators to affect the expression of virulence factors.
Project description: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: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:Upon engagement of tyrosine kinase receptors, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-oxidases release H2O2 in the extracellular space. We reported previously that aquaporin-8 (AQP8) transports H2O2 across the plasma membrane and is reversibly gated during cell stress, modulating signal strength and duration. We show that AQP8 gating is mediated by persulfidation of cysteine 53 (C53). Treatment with H2S is sufficient to block H2O2 entry in unstressed cells. Silencing cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) prevents closure, suggesting that this enzyme is the main source of H2S. Molecular modeling indicates that C53 persulfidation displaces a nearby histidine located in the narrowest part of the channel. We propose that H2O2 molecules transported through AQP8 sulfenylate C53, making it susceptible to H2S produced by CBS. This mechanism tunes H2O2 transport and may control signaling and limit oxidative stress.