Jasmina Zivanovic et. al, Selective Persulfide Detection Reveals Evolutionarily Conserved Antiaging Effects of S-Sulfhydration 30(6), 1152-1170.e13
Life on Earth emerged in a hydrogen sulfide (H2S)-rich environment eons ago and with it protein persulfidation mediated by H2S evolved as a signaling mechanism. Protein persulfidation (S-sulfhydration) is a post-translational modification of reactive cysteine residues, which modulate protein structure and/or function. Persulfides are difficult to label and study due to their reactivity and similarity with cysteine. Here, we report a facile strategy for chemoselective persulfide bioconjugation using dimedone-based probes, to achieve highly selective, rapid, and robust persulfide labeling in biological samples with broad utility. Using this method, we show persulfidation is an evolutionarily conserved modification and waves of persulfidation are employed by cells to resolve sulfenylation and prevent irreversible cysteine overoxidation preserving protein function. We report an age-associated decline in persulfidation that is conserved across evolutionary boundaries. Accordingly, dietary or pharmacological interventions to increase persulfidation associate with increased longevity and improved capacity to cope with stress stimuli.