Selenium and hydrogen selenide: essential micronutrient and the fourth gasotransmitter?

Author(s) Kuganesan, M.; Samra, K.; Evans, E.; Singer, M.; Dyson, A.
Journal Intensive Care Med Exp
Date Published 2019 Dec 16
Abstract

Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient required by organisms of diverse lineage. Dietary Se is converted to hydrogen selenide either enzymatically or by endogenous antioxidant proteins. This convergent biochemical step crucially underlies the subsequent biological activity of Se and argues for inclusion of hydrogen selenide as the fourth endogenous gasotransmitter alongside nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide.Endogenously generated hydrogen selenide is incorporated into numerous 'selenoprotein' oxidoreductase enzymes, essential for maintaining redox-status homeostasis in health and disease. Direct effects of endogenous hydrogen selenide on cellular and molecular targets are currently unknown. Given exogenously, hydrogen selenide acts as a modulator of metabolism via transient inhibition of mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase. Here we provide an overview of Se biology, its impact on several physiological systems (immune, endocrine, cardiovascular and metabolic) and its utility as a supplement in acute and critical illness states. We further explore the evidence base supporting its role as the fourth gasotransmitter and propose a strategic case towards generation of novel selenomimetic therapeutics.

DOI 10.1186/s40635-019-0281-y
ISSN 2197-425X
Citation Kuganesan M, Samra K, Evans E, Singer M, Dyson A. Selenium and hydrogen selenide: essential micronutrient and the fourth gasotransmitter? Intensive Care Med Exp. 2019;7(1):71.

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