Monday, October 27, 2008

Protein of the Day #11: cystathionine gamma-lyase (CTH)

In a recent article in Science, Yang et al found that cystathionine gamma-lyase can produce hydrogen sulfide gas in mice, and that this seems to help control blood pressure. Since I'm interested in mammalian hibernation, this made me wonder about connections with another Science article from 2005 which showed that a torpor-like state of lowered body temperature can be induced in mice by a particular level of H2S exposure. This protein is very well conserved; below is an alignment with the mouse version with some mammals and the chicken. Normally it is involved in cysteine metabolism and presumably does not create H2S; there are some splice variants and perhaps the variants are important in this respect.

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