Hydrogen sulfide chemical biology: pathophysiological roles and detection

Nitric Oxide. 2013 Nov 30;35:5-20. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Jul 9.


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is the most recent endogenous gasotransmitter that has been reported to serve many physiological and pathological functions in different tissues. Studies over the past decade have revealed that H2S can be synthesized through numerous pathways and its bioavailability regulated through its conversion into different biochemical forms. H2S exerts its biological effects in various manners including redox regulation of protein and small molecular weight thiols, polysulfides, thiosulfate/sulfite, iron-sulfur cluster proteins, and anti-oxidant properties that affect multiple cellular and molecular responses. However, precise measurement of H2S bioavailability and its associated biochemical and pathophysiological roles remains less well understood. In this review, we discuss recent understanding of H2S chemical biology, its relationship to tissue pathophysiological responses and possible therapeutic uses.

Keywords: Cardiovascular; Cysteine; Nitric oxide; Oxidative stress; Sulfide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biochemistry*
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide* / analysis
  • Hydrogen Sulfide* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Cysteine
  • Hydrogen Sulfide