"H2S has been gaining increasing attention as an important endogenous signaling molecule because of its significant effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems," the team writes.
The evidence is mounting, they note, that hydrogen sulfide slows aging by inhibiting free-radical reactions, by activating SIRT1, an enzyme believed to be a regulator of lifespan, and probably through its interactions with a gene, klotho, which appears to have its own market basket of anti-aging activity.
Hydrogen sulfide is produced within the human body, and has a variety of important physiological effects. For example, it relaxes the vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells, which is important to maintaining clean arteries as one ages, says first author Zhi-Sheng Jiang, of the University of South China, Hunan. It functions as an antioxidant. And it inhibits expression of pro-inflammatory factors, all of which "imply an important role in aging and age-associated diseases," according to the paper. For example, mice lacking CSE, the gene for an enzyme involved in producing H2S, manifest extensive, premature arteriosclerosis, an inevitable consequence of aging, says Jiang.
The gene, klotho, which appears to be upregulated by hydrogen sulfide, is thought to extend lifespan via a number of different pathways, some of which promote production of endogenous antioxidants, according to the report. Produced in the kidneys, it has direct angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibiting activity; that is, it's an ACE inhibitor, just like certain drugs that mitigate high blood pressure. Not surprisingly, plasma H2S declines with age, and is lower in spontaneously hypertensive rats than in those with normal blood pressure. More generally, a lack of H2S is implicated in cardiovascular disease.
A decline in H2S is also thought to undermine neurological health. Endogenous H2S has been found wanting in an animal model of Parkinson's disease, and is found to be depressed in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. There are even suggestions, mostly in animal models, but also in human studies, that H2S may be protective against cancer, according to the report.
"Data available so far strongly suggest that H2S may become the next potent agent for preventing and ameliorating the symptoms of aging and age-associated diseases," concludes Jiang. In the future, he says, people may take H2S via food, or as an anti-aging supplement.
A copy of the manuscript can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip0113c. Formal publication is scheduled for the late March 2013 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
(Y. Zhang, Z.-H. Tang, Z.-R., S.L. Qu, M.-H. Liu, L.-S. Liu, Z.-S. Jiang, 2013. Hydrogen sulfide: the next potent preventive and therapeutic agent in aging and age-associated diseases. Mol. Cell. Bio. Online ahead of print, 7 January 2013, doi:10.1128/MCB.01215-12)
Molecular and Cellular Biology is a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.
Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
MACC1 Gene Is an Independent Prognostic Biomarker for Survival in Klatskin Tumor Patients
31.08.2015 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes
28.08.2015 | University of Gothenburg
Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.
"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...
A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...
In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.
These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...
Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.
For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...
20.08.2015 | Event News
20.08.2015 | Event News
19.08.2015 | Event News
31.08.2015 | Awards Funding
31.08.2015 | Materials Sciences
31.08.2015 | Materials Sciences