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      A Review of Hydrogen Sulfide Synthesis, Metabolism, and Measurement: Is Modulation of Hydrogen Sulfide a Novel Therapeutic for Cancer?

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          Abstract

          Significance: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been recognized as the third gaseous transmitter alongside nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. In the past decade, numerous studies have demonstrated an active role of H2S in the context of cancer biology. Recent Advances: The three H2S-producing enzymes, namely cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST), have been found to be highly expressed in numerous types of cancer. Moreover, inhibition of CBS has shown anti-tumor activity, particularly in colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer, whereas the consequence of CSE or 3MST inhibition remains largely unexplored in cancer cells. Intriguingly, H2S donation at high amounts or a long time duration has also been observed to induce cancer cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo while sparing noncancerous fibroblast cells. Therefore, a bell-shaped model has been proposed to explain the role of H2S in cancer development. Specifically, endogenous H2S or a relatively low level of exogenous H2S may exhibit a pro-cancer effect, whereas exposure to H2S at a higher amount or for a long period may lead to cancer cell death. This indicates that inhibition of H2S biosynthesis and H2S supplementation serve as two distinct ways for cancer treatment. This paradoxical role of H2S has stimulated the enthusiasm for the development of novel CBS inhibitors, H2S donors, and H2S-releasing hybrids. Critical Issues: A clear relationship between H2S level and cancer progression remains lacking. The possibility that the altered levels of these byproducts have influenced the cell viability of cancer cells has not been excluded in previous studies when modulating H2S producing enzymes. Future Directions: The consequence of CSE or 3MST inhibition in cancer cells need to be examined in the future. Better portrayal of the crosstalk among these gaseous transmitters may not only lead to an in-depth understanding of cancer progression but also shed light on novel strategies for cancer therapy.

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          Most cited references 258

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          Drug resistance and the solid tumor microenvironment.

          Resistance of human tumors to anticancer drugs is most often ascribed to gene mutations, gene amplification, or epigenetic changes that influence the uptake, metabolism, or export of drugs from single cells. Another important yet little-appreciated cause of anticancer drug resistance is the limited ability of drugs to penetrate tumor tissue and to reach all of the tumor cells in a potentially lethal concentration. To reach all viable cells in the tumor, anticancer drugs must be delivered efficiently through the tumor vasculature, cross the vessel wall, and traverse the tumor tissue. In addition, heterogeneity within the tumor microenvironment leads to marked gradients in the rate of cell proliferation and to regions of hypoxia and acidity, all of which can influence the sensitivity of the tumor cells to drug treatment. In this review, we describe how the tumor microenvironment may be involved in the resistance of solid tumors to chemotherapy and discuss potential strategies to improve the effectiveness of drug treatment by modifying factors relating to the tumor microenvironment.
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            H2S as a physiologic vasorelaxant: hypertension in mice with deletion of cystathionine gamma-lyase.

            Studies of nitric oxide over the past two decades have highlighted the fundamental importance of gaseous signaling molecules in biology and medicine. The physiological role of other gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is now receiving increasing attention. Here we show that H2S is physiologically generated by cystathionine gamma-lyase (CSE) and that genetic deletion of this enzyme in mice markedly reduces H2S levels in the serum, heart, aorta, and other tissues. Mutant mice lacking CSE display pronounced hypertension and diminished endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. CSE is physiologically activated by calcium-calmodulin, which is a mechanism for H2S formation in response to vascular activation. These findings provide direct evidence that H2S is a physiologic vasodilator and regulator of blood pressure.
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              An essential role for NF-kappaB in preventing TNF-alpha-induced cell death.

              Studies on mice deficient in nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) subunits have shown that this transcription factor is important for lymphocyte responses to antigens and cytokine-inducible gene expression. In particular, the RelA (p65) subunit is required for induction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-dependent genes. Treatment of RelA-deficient (RelA-/-) mouse fibroblasts and macrophages with TNF-alpha resulted in a significant reduction in viability, whereas RelA+/+ cells were unaffected. Cytotoxicity to both cell types was mediated by TNF receptor 1. Reintroduction of RelA into RelA-/- fibroblasts resulted in enhanced survival, demonstrating that the presence of RelA is required for protection from TNF-alpha. These results have implications for the treatment of inflammatory and proliferative diseases.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
                Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
                Mary Ann Liebert Inc
                1523-0864
                1557-7716
                July 2019
                July 2019
                : 31
                : 1
                : 1-38
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
                [2 ]Institute of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of South China, Hengyang, China.
                [3 ]State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Drug Discovery for Metabolic Disease, Center for New Drug Safety Evaluation and Research, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China.
                [4 ]University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, United Kingdom.
                Article
                10.1089/ars.2017.7058
                6551999
                29790379
                © 2019
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