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Positive effects of thiol (SH) groups

SH-groups:

  • act as free radical traps of highly reactive hydroxyl, nitroxyl and other radicals.
  • act as an antioxidant 2SH + ½ O2 = S-S + H20.
  • act as nitrate traps.
  • in metal chelation; sulfur ligands sequester peroxidant Cu2+ and Fe2+ and potentially toxic As3+, Cd2+, Co3+, Hg2+, Pb2+ and Se2+.
  • conjugate and detoxify xenobiotics and quench potentially toxic free radicals forming soluble and inactive derivates. These derivatives are more readily eliminated by the kidneys than the parent compounds.
  • inactivate microbial and plant toxins containing disulfide bond.
  • prevent the formation of Amadori compound, which is one of the Maillard reaction compounds (e.g. lysine, which is an essential amino acid, is lost in that reaction).
  • prevent the formation of lysinoalanine in heating by reacting with the double bond of dehydroalanine and prevent the reaction with lysine.
  • prevent the non-enzymatic and enzymatic browning.
  • detoxify aflatoxins.
  • detoxify acrylamide and -nitrile by reacting with its double bond.
  • neutralize acetaldehyde formed from ethanol in gastrointestinal tract.

 

Sources:

Hadley, W. M. (1975), The chemistry and biochemistry of the sulfhydryl groups in amino acids, peptides and proteins. By MENDEL FRIEDMAN. Pergamon Press, Elmsford, NY 10523, 1973. vii + 485 pp., J. Pharm. Sci. 1975, 64 (4), pp 715.