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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Roles of Sulfur Metabolism and Rhodanese in Detoxification and Anti-Oxidative Stress Functions in the Liver: Responses to Radiation Exposure

Tetsuo Nakajima

(Research Center for Radiation Protection, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba-shi, Japan)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1721-1725

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893234


ABSTRACT: Organisms must confront various environmental stresses. The liver is central to protecting against such stresses in mammals, and it has many detoxification and anti-oxidative stress functions. Radiation is a source of oxidative stress and is known to affect the liver and induce anti-oxidative responses. The detoxification enzyme rhodanese, which is also called thiosulfate sulfurtransferase (TST), has been demonstrated to be induced in the liver in response to radiation. Cyanide detoxification is a function of the liver, and rhodanese is a key enzyme involved in sulfur metabolism in that detoxification. Though the anti-oxidative stress system in which sulfur molecules such as thiol compounds are involved has attracted attention as a defense against radiation, detoxification enzymes may have other roles in this defense. Understanding how these functions are affected by alterations of sulfur metabolism (including thiol compounds) after irradiation would help uncover their roles in defense against cancer and other deleterious health effects, as well as environmental stress responses. This article reviews the roles of sulfur-related metabolism in oxidative stress regulation and detoxification for recovery from liver damage after radiation exposure, with particular attention to recent findings of sulfur-related enzymes such as rhodanese, which is unique in sulfur metabolism.

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