Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an endogenously produced signaling molecule synthesized by cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3-MST). Given that H2S exerts significant effects on bioenergetics and metabolism, the goal of the current study was to determine the expression of H2S-producing enzymes in adipose tissues in models of obesity and metabolic disruption. Mice fed a western diet expressed lower mRNA levels of all three enzymes in epididymal fat (EWAT), while only CSE and 3-MST were reduced in brown adipose tissue (BAT). At the protein level 3-MST was reduced in all fat depots studied. Using db/db mice, a genetic model of obesity, we found that CSE, CBS and 3-MST mRNA were reduced in white fat, while only CSE was reduced in BAT. CBS and CSE protein levels were suppressed in all three fat depots. In a model of age-related weight gain, no reduction in the mRNA of any of the enzymes was noted. Smaller amounts of 3-MST protein were found in EWAT, while both CSE and 3-MST were reduced in BAT. Tissue levels of H2S were lower in WAT in HFD mice; both WAT and BAT contained lower H2S amounts in db/db animals. Taken together, our data suggest that obesity is associated with a decreased expression of H2S-synthesizing enzymes and reduced H2S levels in adipose tissues of mice. We propose that the reduction in H2S may contribute to the metabolic response associated with obesity. Further work is needed to determine whether restoring H2S levels during obesity may have a beneficial effect on obesity-associated metabolic alterations.
- 3-Mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase
- Cystathionine β-synthase
- Cystathionine γ-lyase
- Hydrogen sulfide
ASJC Scopus subject areas