Nature creates, adapts, protects and sustains life using hydrogen sulfide

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2016 Jan 1;21:528-60. doi: 10.2741/4407.


Life emerged on Earth in an anaerobic environment, bathed in noxious gases. Among these gases, the role of hydrogen sulfide is significant since this gas, was required as a building block of life, contributed to abiogenic generation of organic compounds that gave rise to life and drove adaptations of life throughout its entire evolutionary path. During evolution, hydrogen sulfide contributed to sustaining life in face of harsh environmental conditions. Modern cells still utilize hydrogen sulfide as a signaling molecule, in pro and anti-inflammatory responses, for acquisition of tolerance against damage, in directing repair responses, as a source of energy and in modifying their genetic makeup and function to acquire a phenotype reminiscent of early life forms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism*
  • Origin of Life*


  • Hydrogen Sulfide