alexa The message in the air: hydrogen sulfide metabolism in chronic respiratory diseases.


Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access

Author(s): Chen Y, Wang R

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Abstract Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) is an important gasotransmitter in the mammalian respiratory system. The enzymes that produce H(2)S - mainly cystathionine-β-synthase and cystathionine-γ-lyase - are expressed in pulmonary and airway tissues. Endogenous H(2)S participates in the regulation of the respiratory system's physiological functions and pathophysiological alterations, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension, to name a few. The cellular targets of H(2)S in the respiratory system are diverse, including airway smooth muscle cells, epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. H(2)S also regulates respiratory functions such as airway constriction, pulmonary circulation, cell proliferation or apoptosis, fibrosis, oxidative stress, and neurogenic inflammation. Cross-talk between H(2)S and other gasotransmitters also affects the net outcome of lung function. The metabolism of H(2)S in the lungs and airway may serve as a biomarker for specific respiratory diseases. It is expected that strategies targeted at the metabolism and function of H(2)S will prove useful for the prevention and treatment of selective chronic respiratory diseases. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This article was published in Respir Physiol Neurobiol and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access

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