Structural and Mechanistic Insights into Hemoglobin-catalyzed Hydrogen Sulfide Oxidation and the Fate of Polysulfide Products.
ABSTRACT: 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:Enzymes in the sulfur network generate the signaling molecule, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), from the amino acids cysteine and homocysteine. Since it is toxic at elevated concentrations, cells are equipped to clear H2S. A canonical sulfide oxidation pathway operates in mitochondria, converting H2S to thiosulfate and sulfate. We have recently discovered the ability of ferric hemoglobin to oxidize sulfide to thiosulfate and iron-bound hydropolysulfides. In this study, we report that myoglobin exhibits a similar capacity for sulfide oxidation. We have trapped and characterized iron-bound sulfur intermediates using cryo-mass spectrometry and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Further support for the postulated intermediates in the chemically challenging conversion of H2S to thiosulfate and iron-bound catenated sulfur products is provided by EPR and resonance Raman spectroscopy in addition to density functional theory computational results. We speculate that the unusual sensitivity of skeletal muscle cytochrome c oxidase to sulfide poisoning in ethylmalonic encephalopathy, resulting from the deficiency in a mitochondrial sulfide oxidation enzyme, might be due to the concentration of H2S by myoglobin in this tissue.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a signaling molecule that is toxic at elevated concentrations. In eukaryotes, it is cleared via a mitochondrial sulfide oxidation pathway, which comprises sulfide quinone oxidoreductase, persulfide dioxygenase (PDO), rhodanese, and sulfite oxidase and converts H2S to thiosulfate and sulfate. Natural fusions between the non-heme iron containing PDO and rhodanese, a thiol sulfurtransferase, exist in some bacteria. However, little is known about the role of the PDO-rhodanese fusion (PRF) proteins in sulfur metabolism. Herein, we report the kinetic properties and the crystal structure of a PRF from the Gram-negative endophytic bacterium Burkholderia phytofirmans The crystal structures of wild-type PRF and a sulfurtransferase-inactivated C314S mutant with and without glutathione were determined at 1.8, 2.4, and 2.7 Å resolution, respectively. We found that the two active sites are distant and do not show evidence of direct communication. The B. phytofirmans PRF exhibited robust PDO activity and preferentially catalyzed sulfur transfer in the direction of thiosulfate to sulfite and glutathione persulfide; sulfur transfer in the reverse direction was detectable only under limited turnover conditions. Together with the kinetic data, our bioinformatics analysis reveals that B. phytofirmans PRF is poised to metabolize thiosulfate to sulfite in a sulfur assimilation pathway rather than in sulfide stress response as seen, for example, with the Staphylococcus aureus PRF or sulfide oxidation and disposal as observed with the homologous mammalian proteins.
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 critical signaling molecule, but high concentrations cause cellular toxicity. A four-enzyme pathway in the mitochondrion detoxifies H2S by converting it to thiosulfate and sulfate. Recent studies have shown that globins like hemoglobin and myoglobin can also oxidize H2S to thiosulfate and hydropolysulfides. Neuroglobin, a globin enriched in the brain, was reported to bind H2S tightly and was postulated to play a role in modulating neuronal sensitivity to H2S in conditions such as stroke. However, the H2S reactivity of the coordinately saturated heme in neuroglobin is expected a priori to be substantially lower than that of the 5-coordinate hemes present in myoglobin and hemoglobin. To resolve this discrepancy, we explored the role of the distal histidine residue in muting the reactivity of human neuroglobin toward H2S. Ferric neuroglobin is slowly reduced by H2S and catalyzes its inefficient oxidative conversion to thiosulfate. Mutation of the distal His64 residue to alanine promotes rapid binding of H2S and its efficient conversion to oxidized products. X-ray absorption, EPR, and resonance Raman spectroscopy highlight the chemically different reaction options influenced by the distal histidine ligand. This study provides mechanistic insights into how the distal heme ligand in neuroglobin caps its reactivity toward H2S and identifies by cryo-mass spectrometry a range of sulfide oxidation products with 2-6 catenated sulfur atoms with or without oxygen insertion, which accumulate in the absence of the His64 ligand.
Project description:Reactive sulfur species (RSS) such as H2S, HS•, H2Sn, (n = 2-7) and HS2•- are chemically similar to H2O and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) HO•, H2O2, O2•- and act on common biological effectors. RSS were present in evolution long before ROS, and because both are metabolized by catalase it has been suggested that "antioxidant" enzymes originally evolved to regulate RSS and may continue to do so today. Here we examined RSS metabolism by Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) using amperometric electrodes for dissolved H2S, a polysulfide-specific fluorescent probe (SSP4), and mass spectrometry to identify specific polysulfides (H2S2-H2S5). H2S was concentration- and oxygen-dependently oxidized by 1?M SOD to polysulfides (mainly H2S2, and to a lesser extent H2S3 and H2S5) with an EC50 of approximately 380?M H2S. H2S concentrations > 750?M inhibited SOD oxidation (IC50 = 1.25mM) with complete inhibition when H2S > 1.75mM. Polysulfides were not metabolized by SOD. SOD oxidation preferred dissolved H2S over hydrosulfide anion (HS-), whereas HS- inhibited polysulfide production. In hypoxia, other possible electron donors such as nitrate, nitrite, sulfite, sulfate, thiosulfate and metabisulfite were ineffective. Manganese SOD also catalyzed H2S oxidation to form polysulfides, but did not metabolize polysulfides indicating common attributes of these SODs. These experiments suggest that, unlike the well-known SOD-mediated dismutation of two O2•- to form H2O2 and O2, SOD catalyzes a reaction using H2S and O2 to form persulfide. These can then combine in various ways to form polysulfides and sulfur oxides. It is also possible that H2S (or polysulfides) interact/react with SOD cysteines to affect catalytic activity or to directly contribute to sulfide metabolism. Our studies suggest that H2S metabolism by SOD may have been an ancient mechanism to detoxify sulfide or to regulate RSS and along with catalase may continue to do so in contemporary organisms.
Project description:Human sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (SQOR) catalyzes the conversion of H2S to thiosulfate, the first step in mammalian H2S metabolism. SQOR's inability to produce the glutathione persulfide (GSS(-)) substrate for sulfur dioxygenase (SDO) suggested that a thiosulfate:glutathione sulfurtransferase (TST) was required to provide the missing link between the SQOR and SDO reactions. Although TST could be purified from yeast, attempts to isolate the mammalian enzyme were not successful. We used bioinformatic approaches to identify genes likely to encode human TST (TSTD1) and its yeast ortholog (RDL1). Recombinant TSTD1 and RDL1 catalyze a predicted thiosulfate-dependent conversion of glutathione to GSS(-). Both enzymes contain a rhodanese homology domain and a single catalytically essential cysteine, which is converted to cysteine persulfide upon reaction with thiosulfate. GSS(-) is a potent inhibitor of TSTD1 and RDL1, as judged by initial rate accelerations and ?25-fold lower Km values for glutathione observed in the presence of SDO. The combined action of GSS(-) and SDO is likely to regulate the biosynthesis of the reactive metabolite. SDO drives to completion p-toluenethiosulfonate:glutathione sulfurtransferase reactions catalyzed by TSTD1 and RDL1. The thermodynamic coupling of the irreversible SDO and reversible TST reactions provides a model for the physiologically relevant reaction with thiosulfate as the sulfane donor. The discovery of bacterial Rosetta Stone proteins that comprise fusions of SDO and TSTD1 provides phylogenetic evidence of the association of these enzymes. The presence of adjacent bacterial genes encoding SDO-TSTD1 fusion proteins and human-like SQORs suggests these prokaryotes and mammals exhibit strikingly similar pathways for H2S metabolism.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is both a lethal gas and an emerging gasotransmitter in humans, suggesting that the cellular H2S level must be tightly regulated. CstB is encoded by the cst operon of the major human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus and is under the transcriptional control of the persulfide sensor CstR and H2S. Here, we show that CstB is a multifunctional Fe(II)-containing persulfide dioxygenase (PDO), analogous to the vertebrate protein ETHE1 (ethylmalonic encephalopathy protein 1). Chromosomal deletion of ethe1 is fatal in vertebrates. In the presence of molecular oxygen (O2), hETHE1 oxidizes glutathione persulfide (GSSH) to generate sulfite and reduced glutathione. In contrast, CstB oxidizes major cellular low molecular weight (LMW) persulfide substrates from S. aureus, coenzyme A persulfide (CoASSH) and bacillithiol persulfide (BSSH), directly to generate thiosulfate (TS) and reduced thiols, thereby avoiding the cellular toxicity of sulfite. Both Cys201 in the N-terminal PDO domain (CstB(PDO)) and Cys408 in the C-terminal rhodanese domain (CstB(Rhod)) strongly enhance the TS generating activity of CstB. CstB also possesses persulfide transferase (PT; reverse rhodanese) activity, which generates TS when provided with LMW persulfides and sulfite, as well as conventional thiosulfate transferase (TST; rhodanese) activity; both of these activities require Cys408. CstB protects S. aureus against H2S toxicity, with the C201S and C408S cstB genes being unable to rescue a NaHS-induced ?cstB growth phenotype. Induction of the cst operon by NaHS reveals that functional CstB impacts cellular TS concentrations. These data collectively suggest that CstB may have evolved to facilitate the clearance of LMW persulfides that occur upon elevation of the level of cellular H2S and hence may have an impact on bacterial viability under H2S misregulation, in concert with the other enzymes encoded by the cst operon.
Project description:Matcha and green tea catechins such as (?)-epicatechin (EC), (?)-epigallocatechin (EGC) and (?)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have long been studied for their antioxidant and health-promoting effects. Using specific fluorophores for H2S (AzMC) and polysulfides (SSP4) as well as IC-MS and UPLC-MS/MS-based techniques we here show that popular Japanese and Chinese green teas and select catechins all catalytically oxidize hydrogen sulfide (H2S) to polysulfides with the potency of EGC > EGCG >> EG. This reaction is accompanied by the formation of sulfite, thiosulfate and sulfate, consumes oxygen and is partially inhibited by the superoxide scavenger, tempol, and superoxide dismutase but not mannitol, trolox, DMPO, or the iron chelator, desferrioxamine. We propose that the reaction proceeds via a one-electron autoxidation process during which one of the OH-groups of the catechin B-ring is autooxidized to a semiquinone radical and oxygen is reduced to superoxide, either of which can then oxidize HS? to thiyl radicals (HS•) which react to form hydrogen persulfide (H2S2). H2S oxidation reduces the B-ring back to the hydroquinone for recycling while the superoxide is reduced to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Matcha and catechins also concentration-dependently and rapidly produce polysulfides in HEK293 cells with the potency order EGCG > EGC > EG, an EGCG threshold of ~300 nM, and an EC50 of ~3 ?M, suggesting green tea also acts as powerful pro-oxidant in vivo. The resultant polysulfides formed are not only potent antioxidants, but elicit a cascade of secondary cytoprotective effects, and we propose that many of the health benefits of green tea are mediated through these reactions. Remarkably, all green tea leaves constitutively contain small amounts of H2S2. Graphical abstract Image 1
Project description:Recent studies implicate hydrogen sulfide (H2S) oxidation as an important aspect of bacterial antibiotic resistance and sulfide homeostasis. The cst operon of the major human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is induced by exogenous H2S stress and encodes enzymes involved in sulfide oxidation, including a group I flavoprotein disulfide oxidoreductase sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (SQR). In this work, we show that S. aureus SQR catalyzes the two-electron oxidation of sodium sulfide (Na2S) into sulfane sulfur (S0) when provided flavin adenine dinucleotide and a water-soluble quinone acceptor. Cyanide, sulfite, and coenzyme A (CoA) are all capable of functioning as the S0 acceptor in vitro. This activity requires a C167-C344 disulfide bond in the resting enzyme, with the intermediacy of a C344 persulfide in the catalytic cycle, verified by mass spectrometry of sulfide-reacted SQR. Incubation of purified SQR and S. aureus CstB, a known FeII persulfide dioxygenase-sulfurtransferase also encoded by the cst operon, yields thiosulfate from sulfide, in a CoA-dependent manner, thus confirming the intermediacy of CoASSH as a product and substrate of SQR and CstB, respectively. Sulfur metabolite profiling of wild-type, ?sqr, and ?sqr::pSQR strains reveals a marked and specific elevation in endogenous levels of CoASSH and inorganic tetrasulfide in the ?sqr strain. We conclude that SQR impacts the cellular speciation of these reactive sulfur species but implicates other mechanisms not dependent on SQR in the formation of low-molecular weight thiol persulfides and inorganic polysulfides during misregulation of sulfide homeostasis.
Project description:The first step in the mitochondrial sulfide oxidation pathway is catalyzed by sulfide quinone oxidoreductase (SQR), which belongs to the family of flavoprotein disulfide oxidoreductases. During the catalytic cycle, the flavin cofactor is intermittently reduced by sulfide and oxidized by ubiquinone, linking H2S oxidation to the electron transfer chain and to energy metabolism. Human SQR can use multiple thiophilic acceptors, including sulfide, sulfite, and glutathione, to form as products, hydrodisulfide, thiosulfate, and glutathione persulfide, respectively. In this study, we have used transient kinetics to examine the mechanism of the flavin reductive half-reaction and have determined the redox potential of the bound flavin to be -123 ± 7 mV. We observe formation of an unusually intense charge-transfer (CT) complex when the enzyme is exposed to sulfide and unexpectedly, when it is exposed to sulfite. In the canonical reaction, sulfide serves as the sulfur donor and sulfite serves as the acceptor, forming thiosulfate. We show that thiosulfate is also formed when sulfide is added to the sulfite-induced CT intermediate, representing a new mechanism for thiosulfate formation. The CT complex is formed at a kinetically competent rate by reaction with sulfide but not with sulfite. Our study indicates that sulfide addition to the active site disulfide is preferred under normal turnover conditions. However, under pathological conditions when sulfite concentrations are high, sulfite could compete with sulfide for addition to the active site disulfide, leading to attenuation of SQR activity and to an alternate route for thiosulfate formation.