Cystathionine γ-lyase

Journal Title: Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine - Year 2014, Vol 68, Issue


γ-Cystathionase (CTH, EC:, an enzyme widely distributed in the world of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, catalyzes the formation and transformations of sulfane sulfur-containing compounds and plays a pivotal role in the L-cysteine desulfuration pathway. Human, tetrameric CTH is composed of two dimers and each monomer binds pyridoxal phosphate (PLP). The gene, located on the short arm of chromosome 1, consists of 13 exons and 12 introns. As a result of alternative splicing, three isoforms of human CTH arise. Analysis of genetic variations of the CTH encoding gene showed a large number of polymorphisms. A decrease of the expression of CTH entails a drop in the level of cysteine , glutathione (GSH), taurine and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the cells and, more importantly, leads to cystathioninuria. H2S, endogenously formed by CTH, affects the vasodilation and regulation of blood pressure. CTH knockout mice have decreased levels of H2S, hypertension, and reduced capacity for vascular endothelium relaxation. Overexpression of the gene encoding CTH in the cells leads to increased production of H2S. H2S plays a role in protection of neurons against oxidative stress, and stimulates an increase in γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase and thereby an increase in the level of GSH. Sulfurtransferases, including CTH, can locally prevent oxidative stress due to reversible oxidation of – SH groups in the presence of increased levels of reactive oxygen species, and reduction in the presence of GSH and/or reduced thioredoxin.

Authors and Affiliations

Halina Jurkowska, Marta Kaczor-Kamińska, Patrycja Bronowicka-Adamska, Maria Wróbel


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  • EP ID EP67253
  • DOI -
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How To Cite

Halina Jurkowska, Marta Kaczor-Kamińska, Patrycja Bronowicka-Adamska, Maria Wróbel (2014). Cystathionine γ-lyase. Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine, 68(), 1-9.