Protein sulfhydration

Methods Enzymol. 2015;555:79-90. doi: 10.1016/bs.mie.2014.11.021. Epub 2015 Jan 14.


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is one of the gasotransmitters that modulates various biological processes and participates in multiple signaling pathways. H2S signals by a process termed sulfhydration. Sulfhydration has recently been recognized as a posttranslational modification similar to nitrosylation. Sulfhydration occurs at reactive cysteine residues in proteins and results in the conversion of an -SH group of cysteine to an -SSH or a persulfide group. Sulfhydration is highly prevalent in vivo, and aberrant sulfhydration patterns have been observed under several pathological conditions ranging from heart disease to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease. The biotin switch assay, originally developed to detect nitrosylation, has been modified to detect sulfhydration. In this chapter, we discuss the physiological roles of sulfhydration and the methodologies used to detect this modification.

Keywords: Hydrogen sulfide; Maleimide assay; Modified biotin switch; Nitrosylation; Sulfhydration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biotin / chemistry
  • Cell Line
  • Cysteine / chemistry
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (NADP+) / analysis*
  • Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (NADP+) / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / chemistry
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / pharmacology*
  • Maleimides / chemistry
  • Morpholines / chemistry
  • Organothiophosphorus Compounds / chemistry
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenanthrolines / chemistry
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*
  • Streptavidin / chemistry
  • Sulfides / chemistry
  • Sulfides / metabolism
  • Sulfides / pharmacology*


  • GYY 4137
  • Maleimides
  • Morpholines
  • Organothiophosphorus Compounds
  • Phenanthrolines
  • Sulfides
  • persulfides
  • Biotin
  • neocuproine
  • Streptavidin
  • Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (NADP+)
  • Cysteine
  • sodium sulfide
  • Hydrogen Sulfide