Recent evidence has revealed that exposing cells to exogenous H 2 S or inhibiting cellular H 2 S synthesis can modulate cell cycle checkpoints, DNA damage and repair, and the expression of proteins involved in the maintenance of genomic stability, all suggesting that H 2 S plays an important role in the DNA damage response (DDR). Here we review the role of H 2 S in the DRR and maintenance of genomic stability. Treatment of various cell types with pharmacologic H 2 S donors or cellular H 2 S synthesis inhibitors modulate the G 1 checkpoint, inhibition of DNA synthesis, and cause p21, and p53 induction. Moreover, in some cell models H 2 S exposure induces PARP-1 and g-H2AX foci formation, increases PCNA, CHK2, Ku70, Ku80, and DNA polymerase-d protein expression, and maintains mitochondrial genomic stability. Our group has also revealed that H 2 S bioavailability and the ATR kinase regulate each other with ATR inhibition lowering cellular H 2 S concentrations, whereas intracellular H 2 S concentrations regulate ATR kinase activity via ATR serine 435 phosphorylation. In summary, these findings have many implications for the DDR, for cancer chemotherapy, and fundamental biochemical metabolic pathways involving H 2 S.
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