Recent advances in detection, isolation, and imaging techniques for sulfane sulfur-containing biomolecules

Honami Echizen, Eita Sasaki, Kenjiro Hanaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen sulfide and its oxidation products are involved in many biological processes, and sulfane sulfur compounds, which contain sulfur atoms bonded to other sulfur atom(s), as found in hydropersulfides (R-S-SH), polysulfides (R-S-Sn-S-R), hydrogen polysulfides (H2Sn), etc., have at-tracted increasing interest. To characterize their physiological and pathophysiological roles, selective detection techniques are required. Classically, sulfane sulfur compounds can be detected by cyanolysis, involving nucleophilic attack by cyanide ion to cleave the sulfur–sulfur bonds. The generated thiocyanate reacts with ferric ion, and the resulting ferric thiocyanate complex can be easily detected by absorption spectroscopy. Recent exploration of the properties of sulfane sulfur compounds as both nucleophiles and electrophiles has led to the development of various chemical techniques for detection, isolation, and bioimaging of sulfane sulfur compounds in biological samples. These include tag-switch techniques, LC-MS/MS, Raman spectroscopy, and fluorescent probes. Herein, we present an overview of the techniques available for specific detection of sulfane sulfur species in biological contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1553
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov


  • Fluorescent probes
  • Hydrogen persulfide
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Polysulfide
  • Sulfane sulfur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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