Thiotaurine: From Chemical and Biological Properties to Role in H²S Signaling

Alessia Baseggio Conrado, Elisabetta Capuozzo, Luciana Mosca, Antonio Francioso, Mario Fontana (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Citations (Scopus)


In the last decade thiotaurine, 2-aminoethane thiosulfonate, has been investigated as an inflammatory modulating agent as a result of its ability to release hydrogen sulfide (H2S) known to play regulatory roles in inflammation. Thiotaurine can be included in the "taurine family" due to structural similarity to taurine and hypotaurine, and is characterized by the presence of a sulfane sulfur moiety. Thiotaurine can be produced by different pathways, such as the spontaneous transsulfuration between thiocysteine - a persulfide analogue of cysteine - and hypotaurine as well as in vivo from cystine. Moreover, the enzymatic oxidation of cysteamine to hypotaurine and thiotaurine in the presence of inorganic sulfur can occur in animal tissues and last but not least thiotaurine can be generated by the transfer of sulfur from mercaptopyruvate to hypotaurine catalyzed by a sulfurtransferase. Thiotaurine is an effective antioxidant agent as demonstrated by its ability to counteract the damage caused by pro-oxidants in the rat. Recently, we observed the influence of thiotaurine on human neutrophils functional responses. In particular, thiotaurine has been found to prevent human neutrophil spontaneous apoptosis suggesting an alternative or additional role to its antioxidant activity. It is likely that the sulfane sulfur of thiotaurine may modulate neutrophil activation via persulfidation of target proteins. In conclusion, thiotaurine can represent a biologically relevant sulfur donor acting as a biological intermediate in the transport, storage and release of sulfide.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTaurine 11
Subtitle of host publicationfrom chemical and biological properties to role in H²S Signalling
EditorsJianmin Hu, Fengyuan Piao, Stephen W. Schaffer, Abdeslem El Idrissi, Jang-Yen Wu
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789811380235
ISBN (Print)9789811380228
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Antioxidant
  • H S donor
  • H S signaling
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Hypotaurine
  • Inflammation
  • Neutrophils
  • Reactive sulfur species
  • Sulfane sulfur
  • Thiotaurine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Thiotaurine: From Chemical and Biological Properties to Role in H²S Signaling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this