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Biochem Soc Trans. 2018 Oct 19;46(5):1107-1118. doi: 10.1042/BST20170311. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

Do nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide really qualify as 'gasotransmitters' in bacteria?

Author information

1
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt Eye Institute, 11420 Medical Research Building IV, 215B Garland Avenue, Nashville, TN 37232-0654, U.S.A.
2
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Sheffield, Firth Court, Sheffield S10 2TN, U.K.
3
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Sheffield, Firth Court, Sheffield S10 2TN, U.K. r.poole@sheffield.ac.uk.

Abstract

A gasotransmitter is defined as a small, generally reactive, gaseous molecule that, in solution, is generated endogenously in an organism and exerts important signalling roles. It is noteworthy that these molecules are also toxic and antimicrobial. We ask: is this definition of a gasotransmitter appropriate in the cases of nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in microbes? Recent advances show that, not only do bacteria synthesise each of these gases, but the molecules also have important signalling or messenger roles in addition to their toxic effects. However, strict application of the criteria proposed for a gasotransmitter leads us to conclude that the term 'small molecule signalling agent', as proposed by Fukuto and others, is preferable terminology.

KEYWORDS:

carbon monoxide; cellular signalling; gasotransmitters; hydrogen sulfide; nitric oxide

PMID:
30190328
PMCID:
PMC6195638
DOI:
10.1042/BST20170311
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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