Cysteine perthiosulfenic acid (Cys-SSOH): A novel intermediate in thiol-based redox signaling?

David E. Heppner, Milena Hristova, Tomoaki Ida, Ana Mijuskovic, Christopher M. Dustin, Virág Bogdándi, Jon M. Fukuto, Tobias P. Dick, Péter Nagy, Jianing Li, Takaaki Akaike, Albert van der Vliet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The reversible oxidation of protein cysteine residues (Cys-SH) is a key reaction in cellular redox signaling involving initial formation of sulfenic acids (Cys-SOH), which are commonly detected using selective dimedone-based probes. Here, we report that significant portions of dimedone-tagged proteins are susceptible to cleavage by DTT reflecting the presence of perthiosulfenic acid species (Cys-SSOH) due to similar oxidation of hydropersulfides (Cys-SSH), since Cys-S-dimedone adducts are stable toward DTT. Combined studies using molecular modeling, mass spectrometry, and cell-based experiments indicate that Cys-SSH are readily oxidized to Cys-SSOH, which forms stable adducts with dimedone-based probes. We additionally confirm the presence of Cys-SSH within protein tyrosine kinases such as EGFR, and their apparent oxidation to Cys-SSOH in response NADPH oxidase activation, suggesting that such Cys-SSH oxidation may represent a novel, as yet uncharacterized, event in redox-based signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalRedox Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr


  • Dimedone
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Redox signaling
  • Sulfenic acid
  • Thiol oxidation


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