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Open Access research which pushes advances in bionanotechnology

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) , based within the Faculty of Science.

SIPBS is a major research centre in Scotland focusing on 'new medicines', 'better medicines' and 'better use of medicines'. This includes the exploration of nanoparticles and nanomedicines within the wider research agenda of bionanotechnology, in which the tools of nanotechnology are applied to solve biological problems. At SIPBS multidisciplinary approaches are also pursued to improve bioscience understanding of novel therapeutic targets with the aim of developing therapeutic interventions and the investigation, development and manufacture of drug substances and products.

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Hydrogen sulfide as a mediator of human corpus cavernosum smooth-muscle relaxation

Bianca, R.D.D. and Sorrentino, R. and Maffia, Pasquale and Mirone, V. and Imbimbo, C. and Fusco, F. and De Palma, R. and Ignarro, L.J. (2009) Hydrogen sulfide as a mediator of human corpus cavernosum smooth-muscle relaxation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (11). pp. 4513-4518. ISSN 0027-8424

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Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is synthesized by 2 enzymes, cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine gamma-lyase (CSE). L-Cysteine (L-Cys) acts as a natural substrate for the synthesis of H2S. Human penile tissue possesses both CBS and CSE, and tissue homogenates efficiently convert L-Cys to H2S. CBS and CSE are localized in the muscular trabeculae and the smooth-muscle component of the penile artery, whereas CSE but not CBS is also expressed in peripheral nerves. Exogenous H2S [sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaHS)] or L-Cys causes a concentration-dependent relaxation of strips of human corpus cavernosum. L-Cys relaxation is inhibited by the CBS inhibitor, aminoxyacetic acid (AOAA). Electrical field stimulation of human penile tissue, under resting conditions, causes an increase in tension that is significantly potentiated by either propargylglycine (PAG; CSE inhibitor) or AOAA. In rats, NaHS and L-Cys promote penile erection, and the response to L-Cys is blocked by PAG. Our data demonstrate that the L-Cys/H2S pathway mediates human corpus cavernosum smooth-muscle relaxation.