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Antioxidants 2016, 5(4), 42; doi:10.3390/antiox5040042

Biological Chemistry of Hydrogen Selenide

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Claus Jacob and Gregory Ian Giles
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract

There are no two main-group elements that exhibit more similar physical and chemical properties than sulfur and selenium. Nonetheless, Nature has deemed both essential for life and has found a way to exploit the subtle unique properties of selenium to include it in biochemistry despite its congener sulfur being 10,000 times more abundant. Selenium is more easily oxidized and it is kinetically more labile, so all selenium compounds could be considered to be “Reactive Selenium Compounds” relative to their sulfur analogues. What is furthermore remarkable is that one of the most reactive forms of selenium, hydrogen selenide (HSe at physiologic pH), is proposed to be the starting point for the biosynthesis of selenium-containing molecules. This review contrasts the chemical properties of sulfur and selenium and critically assesses the role of hydrogen selenide in biological chemistry. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological reactive selenium species; hydrogen selenide; selenocysteine; selenomethionine; selenosugars; selenophosphate; selenocyanate; selenophosphate synthetase thioredoxin reductase biological reactive selenium species; hydrogen selenide; selenocysteine; selenomethionine; selenosugars; selenophosphate; selenocyanate; selenophosphate synthetase thioredoxin reductase
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cupp-Sutton, K.A.; Ashby, M.T. Biological Chemistry of Hydrogen Selenide. Antioxidants 2016, 5, 42.

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