Gasotransmitters: growing pains and joys

Trends Biochem Sci. 2014 May;39(5):227-32. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2014.03.003. Epub 2014 Apr 22.


Gasotransmitters are endogenously generated molecules of gas. Over the past decade we have come to realize that these gaseous signaling molecules are crucially important, being irreplaceable in wide biological applications. However, there are still many challenges for future gasotransmitter research to tackle. These include clarifying the interactions among gasotransmitters; understanding the significance of the cellular gasotransmitter signaling network; and adding new members to the modern family of gasotransmitters in addition to nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Ammonia fulfills all criteria for being a gasotransmitter, and methane is another conceivable candidate. Following the original article postulating the concept of multiple gasotransmitters over a decade ago, this sequel article aims to further inspire interest and exploration into gasotransmitter research.

Keywords: ammonia; carbon monoxide; gasotransmitter; hydrogen sulfide; methane; nitric oxide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Monoxide / metabolism
  • Gasotransmitters / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Gasotransmitters
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Hydrogen Sulfide