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Free Radic Biol Med. 2014 Dec;77:82-94. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.09.007. Epub 2014 Sep 16.

Redox chemistry and chemical biology of H2S, hydropersulfides, and derived species: implications of their possible biological activity and utility.

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Department of Chemistry, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Molecular Toxicology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.
Doctoral Program in Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan.
Tumor Biology Section, Radiation Biology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
William Harvey Research Institute, Bart & London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.
Department of Molecular Immunology and Toxicology, National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary.
Department of Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.
Department of Biology, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA.
Department of Chemistry, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA. Electronic address:


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an endogenously generated and putative signaling/effector molecule. Despite its numerous reported functions, the chemistry by which it elicits its functions is not understood. Moreover, recent studies allude to the existence of other sulfur species besides H2S that may play critical physiological roles. Herein, the basic chemical biology of H2S as well as other related or derived species is discussed and reviewed. This review particularly focuses on the per- and polysulfides which are likely in equilibrium with free H2S and which may be important biological effectors themselves.


Hydrogen sulfide; Persulfides; Polysulfides; Thiol redox; Thiols

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