Another small molecule, to add to carbon monoxide and nitric oxide has been revealed as having an important role to play in controlling biological systems in the cell. This time, Solomon Snyder of the Johns Hopkins University and colleagues have found that the "rotten eggs" smelly compound hydrogen sulfide plays a role in controlling blood pressure. H2S is produced in the thin, endothelial lining of blood vessels, the researchers found, and as the newest addition to the family of gasotransmitters, joins chemical signal molecules, including NO, CO, dopamine and acetylcholine. "Now that we know hydrogen sulfide's role in regulating blood pressure, it may be possible to design drug therapies that enhance its formation as an alternative to the current methods of treatment for hypertension," says Snyder.
Smelly control molecule