Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been recognized as a smooth muscle relaxant. Cystathionine γ-lyase, which is localized to smooth muscle, is thought to be the major H2S-producing enzyme in the thoracic aorta. Here we show that 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST) and cysteine aminotransferase (CAT) are localized to vascular endothelium in the thoracic aorta and produce H2S. Both 3MST and CAT were localized to endothelium. Lysates of vascular endothelial cells produced H2S from cysteine and α-ketoglutarate. The present study provides a new insight into the production and release of H2S as a smooth muscle relaxant from vascular endothelium.

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