Bioenergetic effects of hydrogen sulfide suppress soluble Flt-1 and soluble endoglin in cystathionine gamma-lyase compromised endothelial cells

Lissette Carolina Sanchez-Aranguren, Shakil Ahmad, Irundika H. K. Dias, Faisal A. Alzahrani, Homira Rezai, Keqing Wang, Asif Ahmed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endothelial dysfunction is a hallmark of preeclampsia, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy characterised by hypertension and elevated soluble Fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase-1 (sFlt-1). Dysregulation of hydrogen sulfide (H 2S) by inhibition of cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) increases sFlt-1 and soluble endoglin (sEng) release. We explored whether compromise in CSE/H 2S pathway is linked to dysregulation of the mitochondrial bioenergetics and oxidative status. We investigated whether these effects were linked to CSE-induced sFlt-1 and sEng production in endothelial cells. Here, we demonstrate that CSE/H 2S pathway sustain endothelial mitochondrial bioenergetics and loss of CSE increases the production of mitochondrial-specific superoxide. As a compensatory effect, low CSE environment enhances the reliance on glycolysis. The mitochondrial-targeted H 2S donor, AP39, suppressed the antiangiogenic response and restored the mitochondrial bioenergetics in endothelial cells. AP39 revealed that upregulation of sFlt-1, but not sEng, is independent of the mitochondrial H 2S metabolising enzyme, SQR. These data provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms for antiangiogenic upregulation in a mitochondrial-driven environment. Targeting H 2S to the mitochondria may be of therapeutic benefit in the prevention of endothelial dysfunction associated with preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15810
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

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Funding: L.S.A. is a 50th Anniversary Aston Prize Fellow supported by Aston Medical School 2018 Award to S.A. and A.A. We thank the School of Life and Health Science School for giving us access to their XF24 Seahorse Analyzer. This work was supported in part by grants from the British Heart Foundation (FS/15/72/31676) and Medical Research Council (G0700288) to A.A. and K.W. and the Deanship of Scientific Research, King Abdulaziz University grant (KEP-42-130-39) to F.A.A. and A.A.


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