Hydrogen sulfide signalling in neurodegenerative diseases

The gaseous neurotransmitter hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) exerts neuroprotective efficacy in the brain via post-translational modification of cysteine residues by sulfhydration, also known as persulfidation. This process is comparable in biological impact to phosphorylation and mediates a variety of signalling events. Unlike conventional neurotransmitters, H2 S cannot be stored in vesicles due to its gaseous nature. Instead, it is either locally synthesized or released from endogenous stores. Sulfhydration affords both specific and general neuroprotective effects and is critically diminished in several neurodegenerative disorders. Conversely, some forms of neurodegenerative disease are linked to excessive cellular H2 S. Here, we review the signalling roles of H2 S across the spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, the ataxias, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as neurodegeneration generally associated with ageing.