Special Issue "Signaling Molecules: Hydrogen Sulfide and Polysulfide"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2019).
Interests: bioorganic chemistry; catalytic sensor/effector agents; epistemology; intracellular diagnostics; nanotechnology; natural products; reactive sulfur and selenium species; redox regulation via the cellular thiolstat
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During the last decade, various inorganic polysulfides (H2Sx, x ≥ 2) have emerged as potential and potent cellular signalling molecules. Numerous (bio)chemical reactions and biological activities have been ascribed to these astonishingly simple reactive sulfur species (RSS), ranging from chemopreventive and antioxidant properties to intricate posttranslational protein modifications and redox signalling. There is even some evidence that such molecules may modulate the intracellular redox status and induce apoptosis in selected target cells.
Indeed, whilst inorganic polysulfides are—chemically speaking—among the most “primitive” molecules, i.e. sulfur chains composed exclusively of sulfur and some hydrogen, their reactivity resembles the one of H2S on the one side and that of organic polysulfides/polysulfanes (RSxR, x > 2), such as the diallylsulfanes from garlic, on the other. An unassuming molecule such as S22-, for instance, is a fine reducing agent and a ligand for metal ions, just like H2S; still, it is also an oxidant able to modify cysteine residues via S-thiolation. There has even been some suspicion that the biochemistry assigned traditionally to H2S in part may be one of these polysulfides.
Undoubtedly, the biological activities of polysulfides are highly complicated, and we are just at the beginning of understanding some of them. Since these RSS are intrinsically difficult to detect, especially in complex biological environments, such investigations are inherently tedious and often marred by artefacts. Still, there has been notable progress in the analytics as well as the redox biology of H2Sx over the years, and it is now a good time to take stock of the present knowledge and look at future developments in this emerging field. As part of this Special Issue, chemistry and biochemistry will join up to solve some of the challenges of sulfur redox biology, from the appearance, activities, and possible applications of H2S and H2Sx to the interactions of such species with thiols, disulfides, selenium, cysteine proteins, and redox signalling via the cellular thiolstat.
Prof. Dr. Claus Jacob
Manuscript Submission Information
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- cellular thiolstat
- Reactive Sulfur Species
- redox modulation