High-Precision Sulfur Metabolomics Innovated by a New Specific Probe for Trapping Reactive Sulfur Species

Shingo Kasamatsu, Tomoaki Ida, Taisei Koga, Kosho Asada, Hozumi Motohashi, Hideshi Ihara, Takaaki Akaike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Persulfides and other reactive sulfur species are endogenously produced in large amounts in vivo and participate in multiple cellular functions underlying physiological and pathological conditions. In the current study, we aimed to develop an ideal alkylating agent for use in sulfur metabolomics, particularly targeting persulfides and other reactive sulfur species, with minimal artifactual decomposition. Results: We synthesized a tyrosine-based iodoacetamide derivative, N-iodoacetyl l-Tyrosine methyl ester (TME-IAM), which reacts with the thiol residue of cysteine identically to that of β-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl iodoacetamide (HPE-IAM), a commercially available reagent. Our previous study revealed that although various electrophilic alkylating agents readily decomposed polysulfides, HPE-IAM exceptionally stabilized the polysulfides by inhibiting their alkaline hydrolysis. The newly synthesized TME-IAM stabilizes oxidized glutathione tetrasulfide more efficiently than other alkylating agents, including HPE-IAM, iodoacetamide, and monobromobimane. In fact, our quantitative sulfur-related metabolome analysis showed that TME-IAM is a more efficient trapping agent for endogenous persulfides/polysulfides containing a larger number of sulfur atoms in mouse liver and brain tissues compared with HPE-IAM. Innovation and Conclusions: We developed a novel iodoacetamide derivative, which is the most ideal reagent developed to date for detecting endogenous persulfides/polysulfides formed in biological samples, such as cultured cells, tissues, and plasma. This new probe may be useful for investigating the unique chemical properties of reactive persulfides, thereby enabling identification of novel reactive sulfur metabolites that remain unidentified because of their instability, and thus can be applied in high-precision sulfur metabolomics in redox biology and medicine. We did not perform any clinical experiments in this study. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 34, 1407-1419.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1419
Number of pages13
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 20


  • alkylating agent
  • persulfide
  • redox biology
  • sulfur omics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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