In this project, funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamics & Mechanisms B Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Ming Xian of the Department of Chemistry at Washington State University plans to explore the chemical reactivity and properties of three important reactive sulfur species (hydrogen polysulfides, S-nitroso hydrogen sulfide, and selenopersulfides). These species play regulatory roles in biological systems; However, their mechanisms of action are not clear. Through the studies of their reactivities and reaction mechanisms with other biologically relevant molecules, the investigators seek to determine how these sulfur species regulate biological systems. The research will be carried out by graduate and undergraduate students, as part of their professional training for careers in STEM. Efforts will be made to recruit students from underrepresented groups to participate in this project.
Sulfur-based reactive species have been known as critical redox regulators in biological systems. However, the functions of some species such as hydrogen polysulfides, S-nitroso hydrogen sulfide, and selenopersulfides are not well understood. Studies of these molecules are challenging because of their highly reactive nature under physiological conditions. In this project, ways to produce these molecules cleanly will be developed. Studies of their reactivities and reaction mechanisms with other biologically relevant molecules will then become feasible and will be performed. These studies will advance our knowledge of these reactive species and further our understanding of their roles in biological systems.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.