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Special Issue "Sulfur Compounds and Human Health"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Peter Rose
Website
Guest Editor
School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Interests: the identification of novel sulphur compounds and the exploration of how these influence cell signalling networks in mammalian cells; how sulphur rich dietary plants promote healthy ageing in human systems; gaseous signalling molecules
Chair Prof. Dr. Yi Zhun Zhu
Website
Guest Editor
School of Pharmacy and State Key Lab. of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macau
Interests: drug discovery & developments from natural resources

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sulphur compounds are widely distributed in nature with many acting on cell signalling systems in human cells and tissues. New biochemical properties for these compounds are often described in the literature and the identification of new sulphur species common place. Many of these molecules are promising drug candidates, are potential functional food ingredients, are potential targets in plant breeding programmes to enhance levels, or as chemical tools that can be used to manipulate human sulphur metabolic networks. It is only now that we are beginning to understand the true impact of these compounds on human health via their ability to influence important cell signalling systems linked to health.

This Special Issue welcomes original research and reviews of literature on all aspects of the sulphur compounds and human health.

Dr. Peter Rose
Chair Prof. Dr. Yi Zhun Zhu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Natural and novel sulphur compounds
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis
  • Polysulfides
  • Human Metabolism of Sulphur compounds
  • Novel Mechanisms of Action

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Sulfur Compounds as Inhibitors of Enzymatic Activity of a Snake Venom Phospholipase A2: Benzyl 4-nitrobenzenecarbodithioate as a Case of Study
Molecules 2020, 25(6), 1373; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061373 - 18 Mar 2020
Abstract
Snakebite is a neglected disease with a high impact in tropical and subtropical countries. Therapy based on antivenom has limited efficacy in local tissue damage caused by venoms. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2) are enzymes that abundantly occur in snake venoms and [...] Read more.
Snakebite is a neglected disease with a high impact in tropical and subtropical countries. Therapy based on antivenom has limited efficacy in local tissue damage caused by venoms. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2) are enzymes that abundantly occur in snake venoms and induce several systemic and local effects. Furthermore, sulfur compounds such as thioesters have an inhibitory capacity against a snake venom PLA2. Hence, the objective of this work was to obtain a carbodithioate from a thioester with known activity against PLA2 and test its ability to inhibit the same enzyme. Benzyl 4-nitrobenzenecarbodithioate (I) was synthesized, purified, and characterized using as precursor 4-nitrothiobenzoic acid S-benzyl ester (II). Compound I showed inhibition of the enzymatic activity a PLA2 isolated from the venom of the Colombian rattlesnake Crotalus durissus cumanensis with an IC50 of 55.58 μM. This result is comparable with the reported inhibition obtained for II. Computational calculations were performed to support the study, and molecular docking results suggested that compounds I and II interact with the active site residues of the enzyme, impeding the normal catalysis cycle and attachment of the substrate to the active site of the PLA2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sulfur Compounds and Human Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effects of Manganese Porphyrins on Cellular Sulfur Metabolism
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040980 - 22 Feb 2020
Abstract
Manganese porphyrins (MnPs), MnTE-2-PyP5+, MnTnHex-2-PyP5+ and MnTnBuOE-2-PyP5+, are superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetics and form a redox cycle between O2 and reductants, including ascorbic acid, ultimately producing hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). We previously found that [...] Read more.
Manganese porphyrins (MnPs), MnTE-2-PyP5+, MnTnHex-2-PyP5+ and MnTnBuOE-2-PyP5+, are superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetics and form a redox cycle between O2 and reductants, including ascorbic acid, ultimately producing hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). We previously found that MnPs oxidize hydrogen sulfide (H2S) to polysulfides (PS; H2Sn, n = 2–6) in buffer. Here, we examine the effects of MnPs for 24 h on H2S metabolism and PS production in HEK293, A549, HT29 and bone marrow derived stem cells (BMDSC) using H2S (AzMC, MeRho-AZ) and PS (SSP4) fluorophores. All MnPs decreased intracellular H2S production and increased intracellular PS. H2S metabolism and PS production were unaffected by cellular O2 (5% versus 21% O2), H2O2 or ascorbic acid. We observed with confocal microscopy that mitochondria are a major site of H2S production in HEK293 cells and that MnPs decrease mitochondrial H2S production and increase PS in what appeared to be nucleoli and cytosolic fibrillary elements. This supports a role for MnPs in the metabolism of H2S to PS, the latter serving as both short- and long-term antioxidants, and suggests that some of the biological effects of MnPs may be attributable to sulfur metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sulfur Compounds and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Higher Levels of Low Molecular Weight Sulfur Compounds and Homocysteine Thiolactone in the Urine of Autistic Children
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040973 - 21 Feb 2020
Abstract
In this study, the levels of concentration of homocysteine thiolactone (HTL), cysteine (Cys), and cysteinylglycine (CysGly) in the urine of autistic and non-autistic children were investigated and compared. HTL has never been analyzed in autistic children. The levels of low molecular weight sulfur [...] Read more.
In this study, the levels of concentration of homocysteine thiolactone (HTL), cysteine (Cys), and cysteinylglycine (CysGly) in the urine of autistic and non-autistic children were investigated and compared. HTL has never been analyzed in autistic children. The levels of low molecular weight sulfur compounds in the urine of both groups were determined by validated methods based on high-performance liquid chromatography with spectrofluorometric and diode-array detectors. The statistical data show a significant difference between the examined groups. Children with autism were characterized by a significantly higher level of HTL (p = 5.86 × 10−8), Cys (p = 1.49 × 10−10) and CysGly (p = 1.06 × 10−8) in urine compared with the control group. A difference in the p-value of <0.05 is statistically significant. Higher levels of HTL, Cys, and CysGly in the urine of 41 children with autism, aged 3 to 17, were observed. The obtained results may indicate disturbances in the metabolism of methionine, Cys, and glutathione in some autistic patients. These preliminary results suggest that further research with more rigorous designs and a large number of subjects is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sulfur Compounds and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Modulation of Allicin-Free Garlic on Gut Microbiome
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030682 - 05 Feb 2020
Abstract
The allicin diallyldisulfid-S-oxide, a major garlic organosulfur compound (OSC) in crushed garlic (Allium sativum L.), possesses antibacterial effects, and influences gut bacteria. In this study, we made allicin-free garlic (AFG) extract and investigated its effects on gut microbiome. C57BL/6N male [...] Read more.
The allicin diallyldisulfid-S-oxide, a major garlic organosulfur compound (OSC) in crushed garlic (Allium sativum L.), possesses antibacterial effects, and influences gut bacteria. In this study, we made allicin-free garlic (AFG) extract and investigated its effects on gut microbiome. C57BL/6N male mice were randomly divided into 6 groups and fed normal diet (ND) and high-fat diet (HFD) supplemented with or without AFG in concentrations of 1% and 5% for 11 weeks. The genomic DNAs of feces were used to identify the gut microbiome by sequencing 16S rRNA genes. The results revealed that the ratio of p-Firmicutes to p-Bacteroidetes increased by aging and HFD was reduced by AFG. In particular, the f-Lachnospiraceae, g-Akkermansia, and g-Lactobacillus decreased by aging and HFD was enhanced by AFG. The g-Dorea increased by aging and HFD decreased by AFG. In addition, the ratio of glutamic-pyruvic transaminase to glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GPT/GOT) in serum was significantly increased in the HFD group and decreased by AFG. In summary, our data demonstrated that dietary intervention with AFG is a potential way to balance the gut microbiome disturbed by a high-fat diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sulfur Compounds and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Glutathione Deficiency and Alterations in the Sulfur Amino Acid Homeostasis during Early Postnatal Development as Potential Triggering Factors for Schizophrenia-Like Behavior in Adult Rats
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4253; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234253 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Impaired glutathione (GSH) synthesis and dopaminergic transmission are important factors in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Our research aimed to assess the effects of l-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO), a GSH synthesis inhibitor, and GBR 12909, a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, administered alone [...] Read more.
Impaired glutathione (GSH) synthesis and dopaminergic transmission are important factors in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Our research aimed to assess the effects of l-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO), a GSH synthesis inhibitor, and GBR 12909, a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, administered alone or in combination, to Sprague–Dawley rats during early postnatal development (p5–p16), on the levels of GSH, sulfur amino acids, global DNA methylation, and schizophrenia-like behavior. GSH, methionine (Met), homocysteine (Hcy), and cysteine (Cys) contents were determined in the liver, kidney, and in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HIP) of 16-day-old rats. DNA methylation in the PFC and HIP and schizophrenia-like behavior were assessed in adulthood (p90–p93). BSO caused the tissue-dependent decreases in GSH content and alterations in Met, Hcy, and Cys levels in the peripheral tissues and in the PFC and HIP. The changes in these parameters were accompanied by alterations in the global DNA methylation in the studied brain structures. Parallel to changes in the global DNA methylation, deficits in the social behaviors and cognitive functions were observed in adulthood. Only BSO + GBR 12909-treated rats exhibited behavioral alterations resembling positive symptoms in schizophrenia patients. Our results suggest the usefulness of this neurodevelopmental model for research on the pathomechanism of schizophrenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sulfur Compounds and Human Health)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
An Appraisal of Developments in Allium Sulfur Chemistry: Expanding the Pharmacopeia of Garlic
Molecules 2019, 24(21), 4006; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24214006 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Alliums and allied plant species are rich sources of sulfur compounds that have effects on vascular homeostasis and the control of metabolic systems linked to nutrient metabolism in mammals. In view of the multiple biological effects ascribed to these sulfur molecules, researchers are [...] Read more.
Alliums and allied plant species are rich sources of sulfur compounds that have effects on vascular homeostasis and the control of metabolic systems linked to nutrient metabolism in mammals. In view of the multiple biological effects ascribed to these sulfur molecules, researchers are now using these compounds as inspiration for the synthesis and development of novel sulfur-based therapeutics. This research has led to the chemical synthesis and biological assessment of a diverse array of sulfur compounds representative of derivatives of S-alkenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxides, thiosulfinates, ajoene molecules, sulfides, and S-allylcysteine. Many of these synthetic derivatives have potent antimicrobial and anticancer properties when tested in preclinical models of disease. Therefore, the current review provides an overview of advances in the development and biological assessment of synthetic analogs of allium-derived sulfur compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sulfur Compounds and Human Health)
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Open AccessReview
Hydrogen Sulfide: Recent Progression and Perspectives for the Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy
Molecules 2019, 24(15), 2857; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24152857 - 06 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Diabetic kidney disease develops in approximately 40% of diabetic patients and is a major cause of chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and end stage kidney disease (ESKD) worldwide. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the third gasotransmitter after nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), [...] Read more.
Diabetic kidney disease develops in approximately 40% of diabetic patients and is a major cause of chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and end stage kidney disease (ESKD) worldwide. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the third gasotransmitter after nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), is synthesized in nearly all organs, including the kidney. Though studies on H2S regulation of renal physiology and pathophysiology are still in its infancy, emerging evidence shows that H2S production by renal cells is reduced under disease states and H2S donors ameliorate kidney injury. Specifically, aberrant H2S level is implicated in various renal pathological conditions including diabetic nephropathy. This review presents the roles of H2S in diabetic renal disease and the underlying mechanisms for the protective effects of H2S against diabetic renal damage. H2S may serve as fundamental strategies to treat diabetic kidney disease. These H2S treatment modalities include precursors for H2S synthesis, H2S donors, and natural plant-derived compounds. Despite accumulating evidence from experimental studies suggests the potential role of the H2S signaling pathway in the treatment of diabetic nephropathy, these results need further clinical translation. Expanding understanding of H2S in the kidney may be vital to translate H2S to be a novel therapy for diabetic renal disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sulfur Compounds and Human Health)
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