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Hydrogen sulfide: Physiology, Pharmacology and Toxicology

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Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a colorless gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It was recognized as a toxic gas without physiological functions. The landmark report by Hideo Kimura’s group in 1996 ushered in a new era of biological functions mediated by this gas. After that, H2S has been ...

Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a colorless gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It was recognized as a toxic gas without physiological functions. The landmark report by Hideo Kimura’s group in 1996 ushered in a new era of biological functions mediated by this gas. After that, H2S has been classified under “gasotransmitter” along with nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO). This attracts many scientists to study its physiological functions and pharmacological effects. Although H2S was found to be cytoprotective in many systems, its biological effects remain complicated. For instances, it produces both pro- and anti-inflammatory, both vasodilatory and vasoconstrictive and both pro- and anti-cancer effects in various biological systems and experimental situations. The precise mechanisms responsible for the complicated effects of H2S is largely unknown. Recently, it has become clear that H2S can modify protein functions by S-sulfhydration of the key cysteine residues in proteins. However, many aspects of H2S are still not yet fully understood and often controversial.

As this is a recent and rapidly evolving field, an overview of the obtained results and the future perspectives is highly desirable. The complicated biological effects, long term toxic accumulation and lack of system specific effects continuously challenges scientists to develop H2S-releasing drugs. The aim of this Research Topic is to highlight recent advances in our understanding of the physiological, pharmacological and toxic functions of H2S. In this Topic, we encourage submissions of biological functions/toxic effects of H2S in different systems. Both review papers and original research articles of the most recent findings are welcome.


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