H2S relaxes isolated human airway smooth muscle cells via the sarcolemmal KATP channel

Robert S Fitzgerald, Breann DeSantiago, Danielle Y. Lee, Guangdong Yang, Jae Yeon Kim, D. Brian Foster, Yee Chan-Li, Maureen Horton, Reynold A. Panettieri, Rui Wang, Steven An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Here we explored the impact of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on biophysical properties of the primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM)-the end effector of acute airway narrowing in asthma. Using magnetic twisting cytometry (MTC), we measured dynamic changes in the stiffness of isolated ASM, at the single-cell level, in response to varying doses of GYY4137 (1-10 mM). GYY4137 slowly released appreciable levels of H2S in the range of 10-275 μM, and H2S released was long lived. In isolated human ASM cells, GYY4137 acutely decreased stiffness (i.e. an indicator of the single-cell relaxation) in a dose-dependent fashion, and stiffness decreases were sustained in culture for 24 h. Human ASM cells showed protein expressions of cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE; a H2S synthesizing enzyme) and ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels. The KATP channel opener pinacidil effectively relaxed isolated ASM cells. In addition, pinacidil-induced ASM relaxation was completely inhibited by the treatment of cells with the KATP channel blocker glibenclamide. Glibenclamide also markedly attenuated GYY4137-mediated relaxation of isolated human ASM cells. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that H2S causes the relaxation of human ASM and implicate as well the role for sarcolemmal K ATP channels. Finally, given that ASM cells express intrinsic enzymatic machinery of generating H2S, we suggest thereby this class of gasotransmitter can be further exploited for potential therapy against obstructive lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 28 2014


  • ATP-sensitive potassium channels
  • Airway smooth muscle
  • Asthma
  • Single cell contraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'H2S relaxes isolated human airway smooth muscle cells via the sarcolemmal KATP channel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this