Sulfane sulfur – new findings on an old topic
Sulfane sulfur is a divalent sulfur atom bonded to another sulfur which is very reactive and labile. Compounds containing this reactive sulfur include persulfides, polysulfides, thiosulfate, thiosulfinates, polythionates, and elemental sulfur. Sulfane sulfur appears in a number of biologically important compounds, including thiocysteine, thiocystine and thiotaurine, products of the cysteine metabolism, as well as glutathione persulfide. Sulfane sulfur compounds can modify cysteine residues in proteins via an S-sulfhydration reaction to produce protein persulfides. It has been also postulated that cysteine persulfides can be incorporated into proteins during translation. Recently, the sulfane sulfur compounds, especially the persulfides and polysulfides, have attracted increasing interest due to their regulatory and antioxidant properties. Compounds containing sulfane sulfur are also regarded as a form of H2S storage, which can easily release this gasotransmitter in response to biological signals. Both reactive sulfur species (H2S and sulfane sulfur) always coexist in biological systems. This review is focused on new findings in the field of sulfane sulfur’s biological role, and disruption of its level in some patho/physiological conditions. A few sulfane sulfur donors with potential applications are presented. In recent years, in parallel to increasing interest in biological importance of sulfane sulfur, new analytical methods have been developed for sensitive and reliable determination of its level in the cells and tissues.
Copyright (c) 2019 Malgorzata Iciek, Anna Bilska-Wilkosz, Magdalena Górny
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