Finding Hydrogen Sulfide Scavengers

Finding Hydrogen Sulfide Scavengers

Author: Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Imbalances of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in an organism can be linked to pathological processes such as cancer, inflammation, diabetes, and hypertension. Thus, compounds that can be used to precisely regulate H2S levels (both up and down) are important research tools as well as potential therapeutic agents. Research in this field so far has been focused on developing H2S-releasing compounds. In contrast, molecules that can downregulate H2S levels (e.g., H2S scavengers) are still rare.

Ming Xian, Washington State University, Pullman, USA, and colleagues have realized that H2S scavengers should have similar properties to H2S imaging sensors, which have been well-studied. Using an H2S-sensor database, the team carried out a data-driven scavenger-discovery program. The database covers key parameters such as structure, solubility, cytotoxicity, response rate, and selectivity of the sensors. The team selected compounds with fast response times and tested their scavenging efficiency.

The researchers identified a series of potent scavengers based on sulfonyl azides. These compounds showed promising activity to remove H2S in biological systems. Their H2S-scavenging capabilities were demonstrated in buffers, enzymatic systems, and cellular environments. The discovery of these scavengers could benefit the future development of H2S-based therapies.


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