Hydrogen sulfide generation from L-cysteine in the human glioblastoma-astrocytoma U-87 MG and neuroblastoma SHSY5Y cell lines

  • Maria Wróbel
  • Patrycja Bronowicka-Adamska
  • Anna Bentke
Keywords: cystathionine-beta-synthase, gamma-cystathionase, glutathione, hydrogen sulfide, 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase, sulfane sulfur


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is endogenously synthesized from L-cysteine in reactions catalyzed by cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS, EC and gamma-cystathionase (CSE, EC The role of 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (MPST, EC in H2S generation is also considered; it could be important for tissues with low CTH activity, e.g. cells of the nervous system. The expression and the activity of CBS, CTH, and MPST have been detected in the human glioblastoma-astrocytoma (U-87 MG) and neuroblastoma (SHSY5Y) cell lines. In both the cell lines, the expression and activity of MPST were the highest among the investigated enzymes, suggesting its possible role in the generation of H2S. The RP-HPLC method was used to determine cystathionine and alpha-ketobutyrate, products of the CBS and CTH-catalyzed reactions. A difference in cystathionine levels between cell homogenates with totally CTH-inhibiting concentrations of DL-propargylglycine and without the inhibitor was employed to evaluate the activity of CBS. A higher expression and the activities of the CBS, CTH, MPST in the neuroblastoma cells were associated with more an intensive generation of H2S in the presence of 2mM cysteine. A threefold higher level of sulfane sulfur, a potential source of hydrogen sulfide, was detected in the astrocytoma cells in comparison to the neuroblastoma cells.



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